Integrative Data Semantics for Neurodegenerative research

Dementia currently affects 46 million people worldwide and is expected to double every 20 years[1]. As the population ages, the number of people suffering from dementia and related neurodegenerative disorders (NDD) will substantially rise and impose an enormous economic burden on the society. Currently, the total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US$ 818 billion.  To date, all attempts to slow down disease progression by medical (e.g. pharmacological) or non-medical interventions have failed.

In the project IDSN, Fraunhofer SCAI, the German Center for  Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) cooperate to improve the early recognition of dementia. For this purpose, semantic integration of clinical and research data is key. In the resulting overarching semantic data retrieval and analysis system, data from the different research fields can be queried and combined with existing disease information and biomedical databases. The semantic mapping of all concepts from the different internal and external databases will be provided via a semantic mapping service, available to the NDD community. In IDSN, the aim is a platform for extracting longitudinal electronic patient information from unstructured records such as clinical reports and cognitive testing protocols. Moreover, existing pathway and mechanistic disease knowledge, burried in the vast amount of unstructured information of publications, is subject to extraction and integration.

In the development phase of IDSN, the semantic integration platform will be set up. In the translation phase, the integrated data will be analysed in order to support patient stratification and the development of new therapies.