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J Alzheimers Dis. 2013;33 Suppl 1:S385-96. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-129006.

From molecule to clinic and community for neurodegeneration: research to bridge translational gaps.

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Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Six papers based on studies with particular epidemiological designs are presented here which have been selected on the basis of their visibility in the literature. The designs are intended to provide robust evidence on risk, natural history, and underpinning neurobiology and outcomes relevant to aging populations. There is a large case control study (the Late Onset Alzheimer's Disease study), a case cohort study of Parkinson's Disease (the CamPaIGN study), and the Medical Research Council Cognitive Function and Ageing Study. Each study has included genetic investigation and risk, and the latter two include investigation of the clinical syndromes and their natural histories in relation to underlying pathology. Each aimed to provide results which were as generalizable to usual older populations as possible and each has produced findings which have contributed to current understanding of genetic risk, the heterogeneity of the syndrome of Parkinson's disease, and the underlying neuropathology of dementia in older population. They have influenced thinking about future directions, and the cohorts on which the findings are based will continue to provide an important resource for novel areas of research and future health care planning.

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