GÉANT and neuGRID
Enabling early diagnosis of neuro-degenerative diseases.
Finding a cure to the neuro-degenerative Alzheimer’s disease is a key priority for the medical profession. With the incidence of Alzheimer's growing due to an aging population, the disease not only affects the quality of life for patients and their carers, but increases associated social costs such as medical treatment and hospitalisation. The challenge is to provide access to, and enable analysis of, large amounts of medical patient data, speeding up research and drug development and ultimately improving patient quality of life.
The main objective of the neuGRID project is to provide clinical research centres on Alzheimer's disease with three key elements to help identify markers around the disease: powerful computing resources; sophisticated algorithms to process brain images; and remote access to large databases of brain images held in different locations worldwide. Thanks to the European GÉANT network and its partner European national research and education network (NREN) organisations, major improvement in processing times when analysing medical data delivers results in days rather than years.
neuGRID is able to process the world’s largest Alzheimer’s disease imaging database in ten days – instead of five years – dramatically reducing the time needed for analysis and consequently speeding up research efforts. This enables neuroscientists to identify neuro-degenerative disease markers faster and consequently reduce drug development times, benefiting patients and reducing associated social costs.
“Our goal is to ensure that not only researchers but also doctors can benefit from the neuGRID infrastructure. By leveraging the resources of the European research network GÉANT and the national research networks, we aim to provide medical services for the extraction of markers to facilitate diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia disease and also multiple sclerosis.”
Giovanni B. Frisoni, Deputy Scientific Director San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli