Arterial spin labelling Initiative in Dementia (AID)
Dementia is a major clinical challenge with care costs approaching 1% of global GDP. Recent estimates suggest that delaying disease onset by 5 years would halve its prevalence. As new disease-modifying treatments will be specific to causative diseases, expensive and bear significant side effects, early diagnosis of dementia will be essential. Current diagnostic criteria include the use of image-based biomarkers using radiotracers. The AID Action aims at coordinating the development of an alternative and cost-effective tool based on an MRI technique, Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL), to obtain reproducible brain perfusion measurements in dementia patients by bringing together scientists and clinicians from across Europe through the flexibility of the COST mechanism.
The scientific program is centered around four work packages and three workgroups aiming at developing standards, improving the reliability of the technique and as establishing it as a possible clinical trial outcome measure. Development of MRI methods, post-processing tools, protocols of cross-validation, statistical analyses and launch of clinical and comparative studies will be undertaken. The main benefit of this Action will be to provide a cost-effective alternative to radiotracer-based biomarkers, and help care providers throughout Europe balancing the need for early diagnosis of dementia with the necessary healthcare cost containment.