THE NATIONAL CJD RESEARCH & SURVEILLANCE UNIT (NCJDRSU)
The Transfusion Medicine Epidemiology Review (TMER) is a collaborative project between the UK NCJDRSU and the UK Blood Services. The main purpose is to investigate whether there is any evidence that Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) or variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) may have been transmitted via the blood supply.
The 65+ Dementia Study aims to determine whether there is unrecognised prion disease in the older Lothian population. Around 100 people in the UK are diagnosed with prion disease every year, however we think that more might be infected but their illness may not have been recognised, perhaps because the signs and symptoms are similar to different forms of dementia. This research will use patient assessment, blood samples, brain scans and samples of brain tissue from people in Lothian when they die, to find if prion disease is being missed and why.
This NC3Rs funded study, initiated in 2015 is a collaboration with Professor Siddharthan Chandran within the University of Edinburgh Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences. The study seeks to explore the potential for astrocytes and neurones derived from induced pluripotent human stem cells to replace animal models in aspects of human prion disease research.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) is a very rare disease, associated with an abnormal form of a naturally occurring protein (the prion protein), the presence of which can be detected in certain body tissues. The Primary Immunodeficiency Study aims to find out whether any evidence of this abnormal prion protein can be found in antibody deficient patients who received certain UK-sourced immunoglobulin products between 1996 and 2000. The products were made from plasma from UK donors and patients treated with these products may have been exposed to vCJD.