Oslo Clinical Dementia Research group

Anne-Brita KnapskogGroup leader
Anne-Brita Knapskog
Group leader

The Oslo Clinical Dementia Research group has a broad approach to dementia research. The overarching aim of our research is to contribute to improved diagnostic methods for dementia disorders and ultimately improve treatment and care for patients with dementia. To achieve this, we study: 

  • new and accurate clinical, digital and biological diagnostic markers of specific dementia disorders, especially Alzheimer’s disease
  • artificial intelligence (AI) tools to improve diagnosis of dementia disorders in clinical practice
  • the influence of comorbidities, genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, inflammatory processes, biological sex and sex-specific risk factors and stress on dementia disorders
  • interventions that could prevent or slow down the dementia process, such as advanced cognitive training.

About us

Our group consists of several postdocs and PhD students with different approaches to dementia research. A large part of our research is performed at the memory clinic, Ullevaal, with patients included in the Norwegian Registry of Persons Assessed for Cognitive Symptoms in Specialist Health Care Services (NorCog). The NorCog registry is a consent-based national dementia quality register with an associated biobank, which gives us the opportunity to collect data for epidemiological and clinical research. The patients included from the memory clinic at Ullevaal are diverse and enable the study of disease markers for patients at different stages of cognitive impairment (subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia) and with different dementia and non-dementia disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia or depression) The group has an extensive collaboration with the Norwegian National Centre for Ageing and Health (Ageing and Health). We participate in the Norwegian cognitive impairment after stroke study (Nor-COAST) where Anne-Brita Knapskog is a work package leader. We also collaborate with key researchers on dementia biomarkers in order to explore whether new clinical, digital and biological biomarkers can be applied to our memory clinic cohort. 

Long-term goals

Currently, our two major research focuses are biomarker studies and the exploration of risk factors for progression in dementia. The group conducts research with the long-term goal of identifying improved and more precise diagnostic methods for a more specific early-stage dementia diagnosis.  To enable this, several MRI studies are performed, including visual assessments but also automated structural assessments of MRI scans (e.g. NeurQuant® in the clinical setting and FreeSurfer, as well as other advanced MRI methods in a research setting). We are also performing studies including blood and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers for dementia and inflammation, FDG-PET, [18F]Flutemetamol-PET and quantitative EEG.

To explore the factors influencing the progression of different types of dementia further, we have collected follow-up data for a large proportion of the patient assessed at the memory clinic at Ullevaal. This follow-up data has been collected from hospital records, public registries and nursing homes, and is being merged with clinical and biological baseline data. This allows us to explore risk factors for dementia and the effect of different biomarkers and possible disease mechanisms on dementia risk and progression. Our ambition is that this work will pave the way for future intervention studies to reduce the risk or delay the onset of dementia.

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