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.


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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 collaboration, technological advancement and scientific discovery and develop a digital tool for the early detection of the specific diseases that cause dementia. 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 with a potential 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 use. The EDoN initiative is aiming to address this unmet need.

our aims
data generation

Our aims

The EDoN initiative endeavours to develop a cost-effective and non-invasive digital tool for the detection of the diseases that cause dementia on a population-wide scale. This tool could be used during routine, annual health checks allowing healthcare professionals to recommend targeted lifestyle changes and to triage individuals into clinical trials or further diagnostic testing.

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Our approach

EDoN will capitalise on inexpensive, non-invasive digital tools, such as wristbands and mobile apps, to study behavioural and physiological measures like sleep, cognition, mood, navigation ability, gait, or heart rate. These tools will be introduced into existing research cohorts which are also collecting clinical measures such as PET scans, CSF or blood samples.

The clinical measures will be used to train machine learning models to detect patterns, or ‘fingerprints’, in the digital data which are characteristic of specific diseases that cause dementia. This analysis, as well as the collection, storage and visualisation of the data, will be supported by a digital platform that will be compatible with relevant existing data infrastructures. Ultimately, our approach will allow the detection of neurodegenerative diseases 10-15 years before symptoms of dementia affect someone’s day-to-day life.


EDoN in practice

The implementation of EDoN is led by three Hubs, focused on the clinical, digital and analytics aspects of the project, and a Coordination team providing support in areas such as project management, communications, and policy and ethics.

In addition, EDoN is collaborating with other initiatives, such as Health Data Research UK, and is making 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.