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New resource for neurodegenerative disease researchers

2 November 2017

The EU Joint Programme – Neurodegenerative Disease Research (JPND), has just opened a searchable online database of neurodegenerative disease cohort studies called the JPND Global Cohort Portal.

'Neurodenenerative diseases, like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's disease, are a global challenge' according to Dr Mairead O'Driscoll, Interim Chief Executive at the Health Research Board. 'It therefore makes sense to support international collaboration, transparency, and pooling of resources to address them'.

Long-term studies which follow large groups of people over time – known as longitudinal cohort studies – are a rich resource which deserve to be better known and exploited for research purposes. Finding and contacting relevant cohorts can be a difficult and time-consuming task for researchers.

The portal aims to overcome this challenge by allowing users to search and filter for the right cohorts for their research, gathered from around the world. The cohort contact details—and other relevant scientific information such as summaries of data collected—are available on the portal, giving researchers the opportunity to make new connections.

Currently including 110 cohorts, the tool will continue to grow as new cohorts are discovered and added.

The aim of the portal is to:

  • encourage information exchange 
  • encourage new collaborations within the neurodegenerative disease community 
  • support scientific progress.

It can be access through the JPND website at www.neurodegenerationresearch.eu/jpnd-global-cohort-portal/

'Ireland, through the HRB and Science Foundation Ireland, has been involved in JPND since it was formed in 2011. We have funded more than €1 million in awards to date and we plan to continue our involvement into 2018', Dr O'Driscoll added. 'Ireland has real research strength in this area and this portal should be a great resource'.

Two Irish cohorts are captured in the portal, The Irish LongituDinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and the Stroke and Cognition Consortium.

Further information is available from the news story on the JPND website at www.neurodegenerationresearch.eu/2017/10/new-research-tool-connects-neurodegenerative-disease-community/

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