The Global Alzheimer’s Platform Foundation® (GAP) – which is focused on global game-changing dementia research – has chosen Scotland to host the Bio-Hermes Biomarker Data Challenge 2024, a research competition using the most comprehensive set of dementia biomarker data from ground-breaking early blood testing studies for Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and St. Andrews, under the auspices of the Scottish Funding Council’s Brain Health ARC, have launched a first-of-its-kind open access data competition to encourage just about any researcher, from any field, to use the information, with the hope of attracting bold ideas and breakthroughs in the fight against this devastating disease.

The data for the challenge came from GAP’s Bio-Hermes study, which brought together the world’s leading digital and traditional cognitive assessment companies along with leading pharmaceutical partners to study cutting edge blood tests, brain scans and other tests for the diagnosis of dementia.

Data from the more than 80,000 test results from the Bio-Hermes study are now available to researchers in Scotland on the AD Workbench from the Alzheimer’s Disease Data Initiative. The AD Workbench is a global, secure, cloud-based data sharing and analytics environment that enables researchers to share, access and analyze data across multiple platforms. After the challenge, the data will be publicly available in 2025. The pool of data could be vitally important in answering important questions in relation to Alzheimer’s disease prediction, diagnosis, and possible treatments.

The Scottish Funding Council’s Brain Health ARC accepted GAP’s challenge, to the highly characterized biomarker data, which is unrivalled in its racial and ethnic diversity to catalyze a project that is uniting the Scottish dementia research community, offering a platform for new ideas, and creating a legacy of collaboration and early career researcher development.

Choosing Scotland for its “unprecedented commitment to a broad and accelerated process,” the Scottish research community scored a coup in securing access to the data from GAP, with researchers acting quickly to use their unique know-how to launch the Bio-Hermes Biomarker Data Challenge, opening data access to researchers in the Challenge.

The scientists involved, in collaboration with GAP, are now keen to see how other researchers respond to the challenge – ‘if you’ve got a question, we’ve got the data to help with the answer’ — to encourage those from any discipline or field with new ideas and questions to come forward in the fight against dementia.

Access to the data is open to anyone in Scotland, or their collaborators, with a question in dementia research.

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