During the last quarter of 2012, under the auspices of CIBERNED and promoted by the ACE Foundation, Barcelona Alzheimer Treatment & Research Center and the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital (University of Cantabria, Santander), an online survey was carried out of thirteen Spanish research centers. These centers were selected for systematically carrying out research on aspects related to the Molecular Genetics of Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative dementias.
The results of the survey carried out reliably indicated the interest of a majority of the centers (89% of those surveyed) in the generation of a stable national working group or consortium that would improve statistical power and, therefore, accuracy, of the studies that each group carries out individually. In the same way, it was verified that the generation of the consortium would allow the joint application of projects and would favor coordinated participation in various international multi-center projects.
At the same time that the aforementioned interest was identified, the survey carried out a small inventory of the biological samples available from the incipient collaborative group. The figures are approximately 7,200 cases of Alzheimer's disease and 4,500 controls (2,500 population controls and 2,000 “hypercontrols” or neurologically evaluated controls).
After several rounds of contact by email between the interested groups, a meeting of this initiative was held at the CIBERNED headquarters (Madrid) on January 17, 2013, in which all the founding centers of DEGESCO and CIBERNED participated (for details see list of signatories).
At this meeting, the development of a small roadmap was proposed, which included the launch of pilot studies of the consortium on a national scale, the estimation of the available biomaterial through the creation of a common registry, the denomination of the initiative with the acronym “DEGESCO (Dementia Genetics Spanish Consortium)”, at the proposal of Dr. Adolfo López de Munáin, and the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding that laid the foundation for formalizing a stable and long-term scientific relationship between the parties.