Cambridge and Peterborough research funding for Alzheimer’s disease in adults with Down’s syndrome

A research team at Cambridge and Peterborough NHS FT has won over £3 million to expand studies investigating biomarkers and brain changes in Alzheimer’s disease, to progress treatments for adults with Down’s syndrome who are most at risk.

Results from the programme were published in the summer in the The Lancet, revealing that the cognitive and biochemical changes in Alzheimer’s disease start more than 20 years before clinical symptoms present in people with Down’s syndrome.

Imaging biomarkers show that a long preclinical phase follows a predictable sequence, similar to the development of Alzheimer’s disease in the general population.

The Cambridge Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Group (CIDDRG), led by CPFT consultant psychiatrist and researcher Dr Shahid Zaman, has been awarded over £3million by the National Institutes of Health in the United States (NIH-US) to continue this research. 

The CIDDRG partners the UK with an international consortium of 12 specialist research centres awarded a total $106 million over five years to work towards interrupting this sequence and preventing dementia.

Shahid Zaman said: “This is wonderful news for people with Down’s syndrome and researchers and clinicians working to help them. This award and research programme will help to advance targeted and well-designed clinical trials for people with Down’s syndrome and address mortality risk from dementia for this vulnerable group.”

“I commend the NIH for making a visionary and ambitious decision, and I’m honoured to be leading the expert research team in Cambridge contributing to the international effort.”

“The data generated by this large-scale research programme will boost the development of preventive treatments for dementia.”