Pattern-Cog stands for “Personalised ageing pattern for early risk detection and prevention of cognitive impairment and dementia in cognitively healthy individual”. Funded for a period of three years, the project aims to improve dementia prevention strategies by developing and validating an Artificial-Intelligence (AI)-based framework that can detect the earliest signs of impending cognitive decline.
Pattern-Cog will develop methods for predicting future cognitive decline based on clinical data, identifying older adults who might be at higher risk for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. This methodology will be tested in ongoing dementia prevention trials. Instead of a standard machine learning approach, the Pattern-Cog project proposes an innovative concept of personalised ageing pattern rooted in data from healthy individuals.
ERA PerMed is an ERA-Net Cofund, supported by 32 partners from 23 countries and cofounded by the European Commission. To align national research strategies, promote excellence, reinforce the competitiveness of European players in Personalised Medicine (PM), and enhance the European collaboration with non-EU countries, national funding organisations have agreed to launch Joint Transnational Calls for collaborative innovative research projects in PM.
Pattern-Cog has been funded for a period of 3 years from 2022 through the 4th Joint Translational Call 2021 (JTC2021). 217 eligible pre-proposals were submitted, 59 consortia were invited to submit a full-proposal and 22 consortia with a total funding amount of 26,776,871€ have be funded!
Dementia is an umbrella term used to describe a set of symptoms that can include memory loss, confusion, and difficulties with language. There are many different types of dementia and these can affect people differently and cause different symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease is a specific type of dementia in which symptoms usually develop slowly and gets worse over time. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, but not everyone with dementia has Alzheimer’s disease. There are currently no available treatments or cures for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in Europe.
During the last few years, new conceptual approaches and criteria to describe Alzheimer’s disease have been developed referring to the spectrum of Alzheimer’s disease in three stages: (1) preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, (2) mild cognitive impairment (MCI) due to Alzheimer’s disease, and (3) dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease. You can read more about the changing definition of Alzheimer’s disease here.
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is often considered as the stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal ageing and the more significant decline of dementia. It may increase a person’s risk of later developing dementia but some people with mild cognitive impairment don’t deteriorate further and some eventually get better.
People with MCI due to Alzheimer’s disease often experience very mild changes in their cognitive abilities, such as difficulties with memory, keeping track of conversations, orientation, planning and decision making. These changes may cause concern but do not significantly impact on people’s daily lives.
There is currently no available cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in Europe. There is now compelling evidence that the signs of Alzheimer’s disease can be found in the brain decades before the first symptoms appear, providing a window of opportunity for preventative intervention. Researchers believe that detection and early intervention may be a more effective way to tackle the condition.
To that end, the overarching goal of Pattern-Cog is to improve dementia prevention strategies by developing support tools for the detection of earliest signs of impending cognitive decline.