University of Bristol Momentum Award – Dementias

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol

Abstract

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Technical Summary

Developing effective treatment for dementia critically depends on characterising the development and progression of cognitive decline many years prior to current dementia diagnosis. ContinUous behavioUral Biomarkers Of cognitive Impairment (CUBOId) leverages a £12M investment in the EPSRC Sensor Platform for HEalthcare in a Residential Environment (SPHERE) Interdisciplinary Research Collaboration, which aims to advance the state of the art in sensing for many different health-related behaviours at home.
The objective of this proposal is to develop novel computational behavioural analysis algorithms that derive signatures relevant to dementia from SPHERE’s sensor network. Using these new algorithms, CUBOId aims to demonstrate that it is possible to reveal previously unseen behavioural biomarkers of early Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology, derived from autonomous, continuous, long-term, behavioural measurement.
As proof of principle, enhancing diagnosis will be explored through testing the hypothesis that in Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), where subtle cognitive deficits can be difficult to interpret, there is a behavioural AD signature identifiable using SPHERE technology. Second, we explore the hypothesis that behavioural markers of AD observable with this technology will be more sensitive to treatment effects than standard cognitive measures used in clinical trials.
In so doing, the CUBOId team will have developed, tested and de-risked a unique new asset for the community of researchers in the UK Dementias Research Institute, which can also be applied to cohorts in the Dementias Platform UK as well as internationally. Importantly, the proposed proleptic appointment of a “rising star” at Bristol is intended to develop the potential of SPHERE-type sensors and algorithms specifically for use in dementia; to nurture the important interface between computer science and dementia research at the University and to personally lead engagement between Bristol and the DRI.
 
Description Programme grant
Amount £3,630,822 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R005273/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2018 
End 09/2021
 
Title Mild Cognitive Impairment Clinic 
Description We have established a clinical service for patients who have mild memory symptoms. The aim of this is to provide early accurate diagnosis, prognostic information and research opportunities - notably the CUBOID study when appropriate. We are using standard clinical tests - neuropsychology, blood tests, neuroimaging and CSF biomarkers - to stratify patients at an earlier stage of disease when both the patient and GP request it. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - human 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We are planning to evaluate this new service after 1 year. Important outcomes will be patient experience and research recruitment rates. 
 
Description Alzheimer's Research UK (ARUK) CUBOId Presentation for Dementia Researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact An overview of the CUBOId project was presented to academics (basic scientists) and clinicians working in the South West of England. The purpose was to raise awareness of the project. Opportunity was given for questions, which helped address any concerns raised about privacy and security.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BRACE Celebratory Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An overview of the CUBOId project was presented to members of the public at the local dementia charity (BRACE) celebratory event. Opportunity was given for questions and discussion. Two members of the audience expressed an interest in the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BRACE Charity Talk for Volunteers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact This talk was delivered to the local BRACE charity volunteers. The aim was to give them an update on some of our active research projects, which included an overview of CUBOId. The intended outcome was that volunteers would feel more able to discuss our research with members of the public who support the BRACE charity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Biogen 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussions around the viability of monitoring drug efficacy with digital behavioural monitoring similar to the CUBOID system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description CUBOId Talk at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The theme of this talk was new technologies in dementia care and research. We were invited to present the CUBOId project. The aim was to raise awareness of the project amongst local researchers, businesses specialising in technology for people with dementia as well as patients and carers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description INSPIRE Event for Medical Students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact A brief overview of the CUBOId project was presented to medical students interested in research. The INSPIRE event aimed to inform students of opportunities to become involved in research as undergraduates. The purpose of the CUBOId presentation was to raise awareness of the project and generate interest in becoming involved. A number of students requested contact details to register their interest in becoming involved.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description INSPIRE Talk for Medical Students 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to give a talk to medical students who are interested in getting involved in medical research. Medical students were invited from universities in the South West region. The event was held in Bristol. The CUBOId project was presented and medical students were invited to get in touch after the meeting if they wished to find out more or get involved. Although no students contacted me after the event, they did find the project interesting and engaged in discussion after the presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description MIT Boston 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussions around the viability of digital disease state monitoring with digital behavioural monitoring similar to the CUBOID system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A PPI event was run by the ReMemBr group. The purpose was to raise awareness of the CUBOId project and collect feedback on how we should proceed with recruitment and overcome any foreseeable challenges. The event was a success, generating positive discussion. Participants felt reassured that the home sensor technology is not intrusive. Ideas were also generated on how we might reassure potential participants, such as showing them photographs of what the equipment looks like when it has been installed in people's homes. We intend to obtain permission to use photographs of people's homes that are currently involved in the related SPHERE 100 Homes project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Pfizer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussions around the viability of monitoring drug efficacy with digital behavioural monitoring similar to the CUBOID system.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Talk to selected Japanese academics and policy makers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Prof. Ian Craddock gave a talk uder the broad the theme meeting title of "UK dementia research initiatives and recent developments." where he highlighted the forthcoming work that was being funded by the MRC grant as part of the CUBOiD project at the British Embassy in Tokyo.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017