Dementias Platform UK launches the Data Portal, a major new asset in aiding researchers better understand and treat dementia. The portal includes the Cohort Finder, which allows cohort descriptions to be easily searched in order to identify and confirm topics for dementia research from over 30 well-established UK population, or cohort studies. The Data Portal, gives access to a newly created informatics infrastructure, which is able to exploit and share a wealth of data, as well as enabling remote access to, and analysis of, large and complex datasets.
This will be a unique resource for dementias researchers. Although similar resources currently exist, this is the first to have a specific focus on dementia. The Data Portal will play a part in achieving the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, by providing a platform which researchers from around the world can use to accelerate dementias research.
Our aim is to make dementias research easier and faster for scientists so that we can progress research and ultimately find a way to treat this disease - Professor John Gallacher, University of Oxford Department of Psychiatry, and Director of the Dementias Platform UK
Traditionally, scientists would have had to physically read through each individual cohort details to see whether the data would be of benefit to them, and then apply to access that data one by one. If they wanted to compare with more than one cohort that would all have to be done manually and each cohort contacted separately to ask for their data. Taking time to gather and clarify information before comparison could begin.
The DPUK Cohort Finder offers an online catalogue where approved researchers can easily browse to see what information is available to them (blood samples, urine samples, brain scans etc.), and even compare what is available across several cohorts.
A key aim for DPUK is to give researchers better access to the wealth of information on health and lifestyle available in huge population studies. By examining this data researchers can compare healthy people with people at all stages of dementias and can look at how this is affected by other conditions that people may have.
Read more about Dementias Platform UK