University of Aberdeen

Team to research lockdown behaviours

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Behavioural scientists from the University of Aberdeen have been awarded £325,000 to carry out a six-month investigation into lockdown behaviours.

The study is aimed at helping inform Scottish government policy on dealing with Covid-19.

It will examine whether people are adhering to guidelines, the impact the rules are having on mental and physical health, and what triggers changes.

Prof Diane Dixon said: “Transmission reducing behaviours such as social distancing and hand washing are essential to quashing the pandemic - but adherence varies as they severely disrupt normal life."

University awarded lockdown research funding

Old woman

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have been awarded more than £50,000 to investigate the impact of lockdown on patients with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions.

About 2,000 patients across the UK with variety of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions will be sent questionnaires in the first instance, with in-depth interviews set up with some of them afterwards.

The charity Versus Arthritis and the British Society for Rheumatology (BSR) is funding the study.

Artificial intelligence used for test research

Researchers are to use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to try to fast-track a test to allow mass screening for Covid-19.

The University of Aberdeen team will work with Vertebrate Antibodies in a bid to identify the specific elements of the virus that trigger the body’s defence systems.

It is hoped the approach could allow the development of a more sensitive test and ultimately allow targeted vaccination programs.

Prof Mirela Delibegovic, the lead investigator, said: "We hope to create a test that can quickly and effectively identify Covid-19 in individuals.”

The six-month £140,000 project has been part-funded by the Scottish government.

Mirela Delibegovic
University of Aberdeen

Stroke clot-buster drugs could be harnessed

A drug used to treat patients suffering from strokes could be repurposed to treat patients with Covid-19, according to researchers at the University of Aberdeen.

The team is proposing that a clot buster drug could be used to target clots that have already formed, to help tackle lung injury complications.

Dr Nicola Mutch, from the University’s Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre, said: “Given the urgent time scale of treating severely ill patients and the current burden on the NHS, repurposing of existing therapies is a pragmatic approach in addressing the lung injury complications associated with Covid-19.”

Their work has been funded in part by grants from the British Heart Foundation.