Clinical Sciences Research Group

The Clinical Sciences Translational Research Group is led by Craig Ritchie and is focused on drug and intervention discovery for preventing symptoms of dementia.

This group has two principal areas of interest, namely: [1] observational cohort studies [2] clinical trials of both drug and non-drug treatments. The Clinical Science TRG works especially closely with the Biomarker and Biostatistics and Disease Modelling TRGs.

Two major studies led from the University of Edinburgh underpin this group’s work and output, namely, the PREVENT Research Programme (Ritchie et al., 2013 and and EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia) Project (Ritchie et al., 2016 and These projects will create very important insights into disease processes that underlie dementia. They will help us to understand risk and the genetic and lifestyle factors that affect the chances a person has of developing dementia. As well as these foundation projects, the group oversees the running of a number of clinical trials aiming to slow and change the way diseases like Alzheimer’s occur, as well as treating the symptoms of dementia. This all takes place in a new purpose built facility.

The Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at the Centre for Dementia Prevention is one of only a handful of fully approved and dedicated, neurodegenerative disease CRFs in Europe. This research environment creates the perfect setting for translating the knowledge gained from our basic science TRGs into clinical studies. Moreover, ‘back translation’ from clinical discoveries can help to understand mechanisms underpinning dementia at a cell and molecular level. This interaction between the TRGs is critical to the success of the CDP as a whole and the CS-TRG specifically.

Ultimately, all the work of the Centre for Dementia Prevention is aimed at developing tailored and effective interventions to prevent dementia incidence and progression. The CS-TRG is the arena within these interventions will be developed and tested.

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Relevant Publications

Ritchie K, Carrière I, Berr C, Amieva H, Dartigues JF, Ancelin ML and Ritchie CW. The clinical picture of Alzheimer’s disease in the decade before diagnosis: clinical and biomarker trajectories. J Clin Psych /2016//2016 Mar;77(3):e305-11

Ritchie CW, Molinuevo JL, Satlin A, Van Der Geyten, Lovestone S, Truyen L. The European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (EPAD) Consortium: A platform to enable the secondary prevention of AD through improved Proof of Concept Trials. Lancet Psychiatry 2016 Feb;3(2):179-86

Gault LM, Ritchie CW, Robieson WZ, Pritchett Y, Othman AA, Cunningham MR, Lenz RA. A phase 2 randomized trial of the agonist ABT-126 in mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s dementia. (In Press) Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions.

Huntington Study Group Reach2HD Investigators. Safety, tolerability, and efficacy of PBT2 in Huntington’s disease: a phase 2, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Lancet Neurology, 2014 14(1):39-47

Ritchie C, Smailagic, Noel-Storr AH, Takwoingi Y, Flicker L, Mason SE, and McShane R. Plasma and cerebrospinal fluid amyloid beta for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease dementia and other dementias in people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Jun 10;(6)

Noel-Storr AH, McCleery J, Richard E, Ritchie C, Flicker L, Cullum S, & McShane R. Reporting standards for studies of diagnostic test accuracy in AD and dementia: The STARDdem Initiative Neurology. 2014 Jul 22;83(4):364-73.

Relevant grants

Innovative Medicines Initiative: EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia) – 2015-2020, £50,000,000

Alzheimer’s Society. PREVENT (identifying mid-life risks for later life dementia and characterise early changes of neurodegenerative disease – 2014-open, £615,000

Janssen R&D: CHARIOT PRO: The Cognitive Health in Ageing Register: Investigational,Observational, and Trial studies in dementia research (CHARIOT):Prospective Readiness cOhort Study (PRO) (Edinburgh) 2016-2020, £6,800,000

Innovative Medicines Initiative: AMYPAD (Amyloid Imaging to Prevent Alzheimer’s Dementia) 2016-2021,€27,329,288.