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Memory disorders and dementia

At our clinic for memory disorders and dementia, we see a variety of cases within the continuum of memory pathologies. Our in-house collaboration with the departments for neuropathology and neuroradiology, comprising MRI as well as PET imaging, enables multidisciplinary research pursuits and further insights. With a focus on our early-onset dementia population, we use whole-exome sequencing methods in analyzing potential disease-causing genetic markers for dementia. Whole exome sequencing, with its unbiased approach, has proved to be the most appropriate screening method for early onset, not only for diagnostic testing but also for novel gene-finding approaches. We have ongoing research on genes involved in neurological disease pathology such as the influence of C9ORF72 repeats on dementia prevalence and phenotypes. We utilize ApoE genotyping for both our clinical endeavors and our scientific research. We analyze fluid biomarkers in the context of predictive factors for disease development and discrimination of different stages along the Alzheimer’s disease continuum. Emerging evidence has indicated the beginning of neuropathological changes ten to twenty years before apparent clinical signs manifest. Different biomarkers seem to be a good proxy for incipient neuropathological changes and the establishment of new analytical methods such as ultrasensitive single molecule array (SIMOA) may facilitate this approach. We also conduct epidemiological research on dementia in population studies, with special regards for specific demographic factors to research dementia in connection with other medical conditions and comorbidities. We are actively involved in conducting clinical and scientific trials pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease. The Medical University of Vienna is the lead clinical center for LETHE, an EU-wide collaborative project, funded with €6 million from the European Union Initiative Horizon. The LETHE research project will develop a data-based prediction model for early detection of individual dementia risk and a method of digital intervention to prevent deterioration of mental performance.