Catch-up – Rosetrees Interdisciplinary workshop on neurodegenerative diseases of the brain

Physics of Life Network, Durham University

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The Rosetrees Interdisciplinary workshop on neurodegenerative diseases of the brain that was held on 10 February – below is a recap of the introduction and three films which capture the talks from the day, so you can catch-up.

Workshop Overview

Neurodegenerative diseases in the brain represent a wide range of different underlying pathologies with different clinical sequelae. Therapeutic interventions are currently relatively limited, reflecting the complexity of the diseases. Imaging with different, often combined, modalities (including CT, MRI, PET and SPECT) is a well-established clinical diagnostic tool, whilst imaging at a cellular and molecular level using animal models has also contributed significantly to our understanding of both the detailed anatomical structure and functional behaviour of the brain. Application of advanced statistical techniques and artificial intelligence has accelerated the extraction of detailed and clinically-useful information from images, though combining information from these different techniques across different temporal and spatial scales is challenging.

Groups based in physics, mathematics and computational science are increasingly engaged in developing novel tools and techniques which may be applied to the brain and neurodegenerative diseases, including the use of network theory to develop simple models of brain function, applying the understanding of soft matter and polymer physics to the process of protein aggregation, exploring the role of liquid-liquid phase separation in Alzheimer’s disease, and developing models of blood flow and mass transport in the brain using computational fluid dynamics.

A single workshop in this wide-ranging and developing area will necessarily need to focus on a limited number of particular topics, though it is hoped that in so doing, the value of interdisciplinary approaches to other aspects of the field will be reinforced. The workshop will bring together researchers from the physical, biological and clinical sciences to focus on interdisciplinary approaches to the imaging of neurodegenerative diseases of the brain, including how multiscale imaging information may be combined with other biomarkers in order to better understand and model the extent, nature and impact of neurodegenerative disease.

Recordings from the day

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