The European Research Council’s (ERC) mission is to encourage research of the highest quality through extensive and long-term funding. Grants are applied for in international competition with research excellence as the only selection criterion. Advanced Grants (AdG) which run for a maximum of 5 years and are worth up to EUR 2.5 million, enable researchers to explore their most innovative and ambitious ideas.
Oskar Hansson is a consultant and professor of neurology, focusing on neurodegenerative diseases. He has previously found blood biomarkers that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease and shown that by using blood samples, memory tests and a special algorithm, it is possible to determine if an individual will develop the disease or not. His research is now in an implementation phase, where tests are being carried out in primary and specialist care concerning how the new blood biomarkers can improve diagnostics and treatment for patients.
“We will now optimise the blood sample tests further so that we can identify people with Alzheimer’s disease before they have any symptoms,” says Oskar Hansson.
By identifying the disease before the cognitive challenges arise, he hopes that ultimately medicines will be able to slow down the disease at a very early stage. As several disease-modifying drugs are now entering healthcare, there are good possibilities for evaluating diagnostics and treatment.
“In this project, we will use our new blood tests to rapidly screen through different relevant drugs that are approved for other diseases, and establish whether or not they also have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease. This is a high-risk project, but the benefits could be considerable if we succeed. I am very grateful for the grant from the ERC, which provides the conditions for us clinical researchers to conduct this bolder type of research,” says Oskar Hansson.
Project name: ADVANCE-AD/ Novel biomarkers for improving diagnostics, prognostics, and treatments of Alzheimer’s disease.
The other two researchers awarded the ERC Advanced Grant are Sara Linse, Professor of Chemistry and Lennart Olsson, Professor of Geography at Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. Link to more information.