On 14 March, the European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND) launched its Cohort Catalogue. Featuring an extensive list of international cohorts across the neurodegenerative disease spectrum, the Cohort Catalogue is a central, open, accessible repository for researchers to discover ongoing studies and search metadata by disease area, biosample availability, imaging and cognitive data, and more. The development of effective treatments and accurate diagnostics requires biomarkers for early detection of neurodegenerative disease in individuals, for assessing treatment efficacy, and for patient stratification. Thanks to funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), EPND is establishing a data-and sample-sharing platform for collaborative, large-scale biomarker research. Alzheimer Europe is one of 29 public- and private sector partners in EPND, and is proud to co-lead its stakeholder engagement, public involvement and communications activities.
According to Niranjan Bose of Gates Ventures, a member of EPND’s Project Management Team, “EPND is committed to revolutionising scientific breakthroughs in the effort to diagnose, treat, and prevent neurodegenerative diseases. The Cohort Catalogue is a first step towards data and sample sharing, by increasing visibility and awareness of neurodegeneration research studies, to maximise the benefit and impact of neurodegeneration research.” The Cohort Catalogue represents an important milestone towards establishment of EPND’s data- and sample-sharing platform. Bringing together metadata on 67 research cohorts, with sites in 17 countries across Europe, the Catalogue offers a view on a diverse landscape of neurodegenerative disease research. Encompassing 12 disease areas, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies alongside rarer conditions such as Huntington’s disease and multiple system atrophy, the cohorts in the Catalogue represent 159,675 research participants.
This makes the Catalogue a hugely valuable resource for large-scale research studies aiming to develop or validate new biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases, allowing researchers to pinpoint useful cohorts, data and samples, then use the “contact Cohort” feature to initiate collaborations. "To ensure the Cohort Catalogue would be as useful as possible, we incorporated a vast array of metadata for each cohort, including whether plasma and cerebrospinal fluid samples are included, or MRI or amyloid PET scan images,” said EPND co-Coordinator and clinical epidemiologist, Pieter-Jelle Visser. “This way, researchers have a single location to easily search – and discover – the complete landscape of neurodegenerative disease cohorts across Europe, and beyond.” For more information about EPND, please visit https://epnd.org/, or visit the Cohort Catalogue at https://discover.epnd.org/