UCL’s Progression Of Neurodegenerative Disease (POND) group is developing new computational models and techniques for learning characteristic patterns of disease progression using large cross-sectional data sets. Our focus is currently on dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease, but our techniques have wider application to other diseases and developmental processes.

We are considering a broad approach to modelling disease progression, starting with Hubert Fonteijn’s work in NeuroImage 2012 on event-based models, and also exploring the possibility of determining causal links between events. Events constitute biomarker abnormality, which includes image-based biomarkers such as regional atrophy in the brain, as well as biomarkers such as levels of abnormal proteins in cerebrospinal fluid.

All the while, we ensure clinical relevance in the models through collaboration with the Dementia Research Centre at UCL’s Institute of Neurology.

UCL POND started with an EPSRC-funded project (see our projects for more details) and are coordinators of the EuroPOND (a Horizon 2020 project) and E-DADS (EU JPND) consortia.