The DDRC, Dept. of Neurology at Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Denmark, conducts clinical and translational research in dementia and neurogenetic disorders with the aim to improve early diagnosis and treatment as well as quality of life of the patients.
Linked to the Copenhagen Memory Clinic, the research center has access to clinical cohorts of 1500-2000 patients referred every year for diagnostic evaluation of cognitive or behavioral symptoms, many of whom have consented to share their biological samples and clinical data for research. DDRC also houses a clinical trial unit. The DDRC coordinates a nationwide network of memory clinics in Denmark and the smaller network of 5 memory clinics who are active in clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease or Huntington’s disease, as part of Trial Nation Denmark. The DDRC has conducted two large multicenter randomized clinical trials on psychosocial and physical exercise interventions, respectively, in Alzheimer’s disease.
DDRC has an in-house fully equipped laboratory to perform all aspects of cellular and molecular research. We have labs classified for working with genetically modified organisms (class I and class II conditions) in order to study cellular and molecular biology. Furthermore, we have equipment to perform various standard molecular biological techniques. We have set up standard routines for reprogramming fibroblasts into induced pluripotent stem cells and for gene editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 technique and differentiating stem cells into e.g. neurons, microglia, astrocytes and organoids. We use animal and cell models to understand mechanisms of disease.
The Danish Dementia Biobank (DDBB) contains samples from more than 10.000 patients referred to the Copenhagen Memory Clinic at Rigshospitalet and the Zealand University Hospital Memory Clinic in Roskilde. Whole blood, buffy coat, EDTA plasma and serum are stored for all patients, as well as CSF from approximately 25% of the patients. Furthermore, we have fibroblast cultures from selected patients. The DDBB provides support/infrastructure for a wide range of national and international research projects.
Main research areas
- Interventions, epidemiology and global health - Professor, DMSc Gunhild Waldemar
- Early diagnosis, neuroimaging and biomarkers – Professor, DMSc Steen G. Hasselbalch
Professor profile, read more
- Inherited disorders and molecular mechanisms in neurodegeneration – Professor, PhD Jørgen E. Nielsen
Professor profile, read more
- Cognition and neuropsychological deficits – Ass. Prof., MSc PhD Asmus Vogel
- Cross-cultural assessment and dementia in ethnic minorities - Ass. Prof., MSc PhD T. Rune Nielsen
- Biofluid markers – Director Danish Dementia Biobank - MSc PhD Anja H. Simonsen
- Neuropsychological tests and case-finding instruments – MSc, Kasper Jørgensen
- Clinical Trials, Lewy Body Dementia, Biomarkers - Director CTU, MD, PhD, Kristian S. Frederiksen
- Psychosocial interventions – and assistive technology – MSc, PhD Laila Øksnebjerg
- Cellular and molecular biology - Senior researcher, PhD Patrick Ejlerskov
The national education and info centre and the associated selected research programs are funded in part by the Danish Ministry of Health. A wide range of governmental and private foundations support specific research project. Read more at DDRC website
The DDRC has strong international collaboration and participates – or have participated in – large EU funded research consortia, such as for instance PredictND, ERA-PERMED (EDAP-AD) and JPND (e.g. BiomarkAPD). The DDRC is a member of the European network of centers of expertise in Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, EADC.
The DDRC is also a certified member of the ERN-RND, a European Reference Network established by the EU to support patients and families affected by rare neurological diseases (RND) which requires much specialized knowledge, treatment and resources. For psychosocial research, the DDRC is a member of the European network, InterDem, and coordinates a similar national network in Denmark, DaneDem.