Dr Alison Green is a Reader at the National Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease Research and Surveillance Unit.
My research interests are in the development of diagnostic tests for dementia. I was instrumental in evaluating and introducing cerebrospinal spinal fluid (CSF) 14-3-3 as a diagnostic test for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in 1996. This contributed to CSF 14-3-3 being introduced into the diagnostic criteria for sporadic CJD in 1998 by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
I have been responsible for providing a national and international diagnostic service for CSF 14-3-3 since 2000 and in 2001 my laboratory was recognised as an International Reference Laboratory by the WHO.
In 2012 my group developed a protein aggregation test for CJD called Real-time Quaking Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC). This test is more accurate than the existing CSF 14-3-3 test and is now being established in other European countries as well as Japan, Canada, Australia and United States of America.
My research interest lies in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) brain-specific proteins, notably how detection and measurement of these proteins may aid diagnosis and help to elucidate underlying pathological processes. My particular interest is in the development of tests that will help with the differential diagnosis of dementia.
In 2012 my group developed a disease-specific diagnostic test for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) which is based upon the ability of prion protein found within the CSF to aggregate recombinant prion protein. This technique is called Real-time Quaking Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) and is more accurate than the existing CSF 14-3-3 test. RT-QuIC is now being established in other European countries as well as Japan, Canada, Australia and United States of America.
I am also interested in evaluating the role CSF tau protein, phosphorylated tau and beta-amyloid may play in the differential diagnosis of patients with early onset dementia. I am currently undertaking a prospective study investigating this area with Dr Suvankar Pal as part of the Cognitive Disorders Clinic, Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic, with Dr Craig Heath Consultant Neurologist from Ninewells Hospital, Dundee and with Dr Martin Zeidler Consultant Neurologist from Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy.
I have recently obtained funding from the Chief Scientist Office to develop protein aggregation assays for beta-amyloid and alpha-synuclein using the RT-QuIC technology. If successful this will enable the “stickiness” of these proteins to be assessed as opposed to their CSF concentration.