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EMIF holds 2nd General Assembly

Monday 22 June 2015

The EMIF project partners held their 2nd General Assembly in Ghent, Belgium on 22-24 June 2015. The assembly coincided with the halfway point of the project lifetime and was chaired by Coordinators Simon Lovestone and Bart Vannieuwenhuyse. It was attended by some 100 delegates from all 16 work packages.

On the first day, the delegates heard updates from the EMIF-AD (Alzheimer’s disease), EMIF-Metabolic and EMIF-Platform project areas. The AD updates included three new papers published in the JAMA and Brain journals and overall good progress on collecting new data. There are now four complete Alzheimer’s disease cohorts available on the platform and 21 further cohorts are nearing completion. The EMIF-AD partners are also working together with colleagues from other IMI-funded dementia projects, such as AETIONOMY and EPAD.

The second day included the presentation of results from a study on dementia prevalence in electronic health records and outlines of two related studies that will investigate risk factors and treatment pathways for dementia. This was followed by a series of breakout sessions that dealt with specific topics, such as analysing a recent study that linked dementia with obesity, developing tools to support treatment pathway analysis and the ongoing development of the fingerprint browser.

The day ended with scientific presentations for each topic. On the EMIF-AD side, Dr Pieter Jelle Visser presented "Amyloid positivity in non-demented and demented subjects: prevalence and outcome." This paper shows that amyloid positivity increases at high age, that not all subjects with AD are amyloid positive and that amyloid positivity is common in non-AD dementia. A clear conclusion is that subjects for clinical trials should be selected based on amyloid status and not only on clinical criteria.

The final day focused on future project activities, such as the Ethical Code of Practice that is in development. There were also breakout sessions where delegates were able to address issues and suggest courses of action that were not mentioned during the preceding days.