Dementia and neurodegenerative disorders

Covid-19 research

Researchers began several new projects relating directly to Covid-19 and these are highlighted below. In addition staff ran phone clinics. The team collected and audited feedback from doctors and patients on the phone clinics; this is now being prepared for publication.

  • Professor James Rowe set up a new covid research project to study the impact of the illness on brain health, using the special ultrahigh field 7T MRI scanner at Addenbrooke’s. No results are available yet.
  • Professor Hugh Markus carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of Covid-19 and stroke. Results to be confirmed.
  • Three members of the Dementia team were involved in the set-up and delivery of the RECOVERY trial.

Continuing non-Covid research

The team continued where possible with non-Covid research, outlined below:

  • Remote assessments of patients involved in our longitudinal PD/HD cohort studies (the PICNICS, ICICLE-PD and Parkinson’s Research clinic);
  • Retrospective analysis of cohort study data, leading to a recently submitted paper on the relationship between early gut dysfunction and disease progression in PD
  • Validation of a new Parkinson’s disease-specific questionnaire evaluating gastrointestinal symptoms (conducted remotely via posted questionnaires)
  • Completion of analysis of human post-mortem data for our study investigating the role of neuroinflammation in PD (manuscript now being prepared for submission)
  • Sleep in HD – remote assessments conducted throughout the lockdown period and review of data
  • Pharma-funded and academic-led clinical trials – all assessments and follow-up visits were conducted remotely
  • Efforts were put into the set-up of new trials in the pipeline, completion of paperwork, writing trial protocols and designing databases.

Supporting NHS staff and patients

Several of the honorary consultants (RAB; CWG, TR) joined the on call/ward rota for 3 months dealing with all neurology/stroke admissions to the hospital as all the neurology SpR were moved to COVID wards.

Clinical fellows were diverted to the wards and on call services to help with the impact on the NHS Trust.

Our honorary consultants and research nurses diverted their efforts to ensure continuity of OP services for some of the most vulnerable patients and families in the community by undertaking increased numbers of remote OP clinics.

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