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Cognitive and mental health

Maintaining cognitive function in health and disease

Theme lead: John Geddes

Our vision

To create an environment optimised for clinical trials, by creating memory clinic capabilities that enable early detection of pathology in patients, and using outcome measures that better reflect quality of life.

Our mission

To delay the onset and reduce the incidence of disease, as well as prevent disease progression and improving wellbeing. The theme will deploy Oxford’s strength in a wide range of therapeutic areas to enhance our understanding of neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia arising from cerebrovascular disease. It will also seek to identify ways to maintain cognitive health, by evaluating behavioural interventions to enhance neuronal plasticity via cognitive and physical training. Our longer-term goal is to identify disease processes in the pre-clinical phase and to develop disease modification therapies that can slow the progression of disease. Theme components include:

  • Oxford Cognitive Health bringing together world leading imaging, genetics, cell biology and cognitive neuroscience, to uncover the mechanism underlying cognitive and mental disorders.
  • NIHR Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility providing specialised facilities to support clinical experimental cognitive health research in four sites across the University of Oxford, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust.
  • NIHR Translational Research Collaboration in Dementia undertaking work that defines disease processes through biomarker identification and extensive phenotyping in cohorts, as well as drug discovery via academic/industrial collaboration
  • Oxford Dementia and Ageing Research (OxDARE) bringing together the world-class science in cell and stem cell biology, genomics including single cell genomics, neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, epidemiology, psychiatry and clinical neurology
  • Studying Oxford Parkinson’s Disease (PD) Centre cohort of 1500 unselected, well-characterised early PD cases, 300 age-matched control and 300 ‘at-risk’ subjects for PD in the Thames Valley.
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