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AAIC 2022 | Next steps in VCID research: molecular targets and fluid biomarkers

Atticus Hainsworth, PhD, St George’s University of London, London, UK, outlines the key research themes surrounding vascular contributions to cognitive impairment & dementia (VCID). Currently, there is a broad knowledge of the processes driving VCID, such as hypertension, tissue fibrosis, and cell senescence. However, knowledge of the molecular targets for treating VCID is lacking, therefore, explorative research must continue in this direction. The use of transcriptomics data is becoming highly important in understanding different brain diseases, since machines can now measure the RNA profile of hundreds of thousands of cells and create cell atlases for different cognitive diseases. This could potentially yield information on the molecular targets needed for treating VCID. A further area of interest is the use of biomarkers, specifically fluid biomarkers, as they are major tools in progressing clinical trials. The impressive progress being made with blood biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease provides hope that developments in vascular dementia biomarkers are close behind. This interview took place at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2022 in San Diego, CA.


AH Hainsworth has received honoraria from Eli-Lilly and NIA. He leads the MRC-Dementias-Platform UK Vascular Experimental Medicine group.