Translational Neurogenetics Laboratory
In order to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders we work with a variety of techniques within molecular and cellular biology. Our facility is fully equipped to perform all aspects of cellular biological research and has biosafety class I and II laboratories. Using skin biopsies from patients in our memory clinic we establish patient-specific cell cultures to dissect the molecular mechanisms of disease. These patient cells have also been used to induce pluripotent stem cells. These cell models form the basis of our work in combination with additional advanced techniques such as image cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, viral vector generation and RNA interference.
Danish Dementia BioBank (DDBB)
DDBB was established in 2008 with the aim of collecting biological fluids for biomarker research in neurodegenerative diseases. DDBB contains 6,250 samples from patients referred to the Copenhagen Memory Clinic at Rigshospitalet and the Zealand University Hospital Memory Clinic. Whole blood, buffy coat, EDTA plasma and serum are stored for all patients, and CSF from approximately 25% of the patients. The samples,
handled and stored according to international biobank guidelines, have contributed to multiple international biomarker and stability studies.
Clinical cohorts and intervention studies
To investigate how different neurodegenerative processes arise and become manifest, specific patient cohorts, representing a wide range of diagnostic entities, cohorts of healthy controls and gene mutation carriers, are the foundation of many DDRC research programmes. These patient cohorts make up an essential basis for most of our clinical studies, with the aim of improving diagnostic evaluation, treatment
and care for patients with dementia and neurodegenerative disorders. Often, intervention studies require a large number of patients, demanding multicentre collaboration with national and international partners/memory clinics. DDRC coordinated two large-scale multicentre intervention studies (DAISY and ADEX), with more than 200 AD patients in each, resulting in two cohorts for future studies. A formalised platform for future
collaboration on dementia research in Danish memory clinics has been established in the ADEX network (which is a multicentre network in Denmark that includes participation from eight different memory clinics across Denmark). In the ADEX network a platform was established creating research alliances between Danish memory clinics with benchmarking to Swedish and Dutch networks.
Danish national registries
Access to nationwide health care registries allows for very large population-based studies on health service, risk factors, medication and outcome in neurodegenerative disorders. All Danish in and out-patients who have had contact with a Danish hospital are registered in national registries with basic information on clinical diagnoses and procedures. In some of the earliest epidemiological studies, our group examined the validity of dementia diagnoses. Since then, the unique national registries have been the basis for several studies on the use of medication in patients with dementia and on the quality of diagnostic evaluation in various patient groups.