We are seeking forward-thinking researchers and organisations to work with us to transform the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases.

We are seeking forward-thinking researchers and organisations to work with us to transform the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases.


globe square


Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases (EDoN) is an ambitious project spearheaded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

We are bringing together global experts in data science, digital technology and neurodegeneration to create a rich network for data sharing, collaboration and discovery.

Our ambition is to develop a toolkit for detecting the signs of early disease that in future, can be integrated into wearables technologies like watches or headbands. The EDoN initiative will benefit the public, clinicians, as well as the broader healthcare system and experts in drug discovery.

the challenge
challenge of early detection

The challenge of early detection

Worldwide, 50 million people are living with dementia. Currently we have no treatments that can slow or stop the progression of diseases that cause dementia. To develop these treatments, we need to detect neurodegeneration at its very earliest stage, before symptoms appear.

The existing methods for early detection of neurodegenerative diseases, such as PET brain imaging or cerebrospinal fluid sampling, can be invasive and costly, making them unsuitable for large-scale screening. The EDoN initiative is looking to change this.

our aims
data generation

Our aims

The EDoN initiative will develop a cost-effective and non-invasive digital toolkit to be used on a population-wide scale. We aim for it to allow healthcare professionals to determine someone’s risk of developing dementia and could be used during routine, annual health checks in future. This information could be used to inform lifestyle changes and triage individuals into clinical trials or for further diagnostic testing.

data digital neuro

Our approach

EDoN will capitalise on inexpensive, non-invasive digital tools, such as wristbands and mobile apps, to study behavioural and physiological measures like navigation ability, gait, or heart rate. By working with existing research cohorts, our researchers will also monitor subtle changes in clinical measurements as the earliest signs of disease emerge.

Prospective data generated by EDoN will inform machine learning algorithms with the aim of creating unique ‘fingerprints’ for the detection of specific neurodegenerative diseases 10-15 years before symptoms of dementia effect someone’s day-to-day life

Developing the data infrastructure to enable the rapid development and refinement of machine learning models, as well as to support the management and visualisation of the data generated by the project, will also be critical to EDoN’s success.

edon diagram

EDoN in practice

EDoN is formed of four Working Groups: Digital Tools, Cohorts & Biomarkers, Fingerprint Analytics and Digital Platform. These groups are facilitated by Digital and Clinical support groups, as well as a Coordination group.

The Digital Platform working group is collaborating with other data initiatives, such as the Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) of Health Data Research UK, to facilitate access to the data needed for and produced by the project. EDoN also makes use of training resources and data analysis expertise of the Deep Dementia Phenotyping Network (DEMON).

Through this collaborative and innovative approach, EDoN will drive breakthroughs in the early detection of neurodegenerative disease. For more information, please see the EDoN white paper.