On TReND: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and the Contentious Reimagining of Alzheimer Disease-Related Dementias as Environmental Diseases

Award Number
Award Type
University Awards in Humanities and Social Science
Status / Stage
1 February 2022 -
31 January 2027
Duration (calculated)
04 years 11 months
Wellcome Trust
Funding Amount
Funder/Grant study page
Wellcome Trust
Contracted Centre
University of Sheffield
Contracted Centre Webpage
Principal Investigator
Dr Gregory Hollin
PI Contact
WHO Catergories
Understanding risk factors
Understanding Underlying Disease
Disease Type
Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

CPEC Review Info
Reference ID286
ResearcherReside Team


Award Number222157/Z/20/Z
Status / StageCompleted
Start Date20220201
End Date20270131
Duration (calculated) 04 years 11 months
Funder/Grant study pageWellcome Trust
Contracted CentreUniversity of Sheffield
Contracted Centre Webpage
Funding Amount£333,089.00


There is a growing recognition that Alzheimer’s-like dementias need to be understood in environmental, rather than simply genetic, terms. Head injury has been identified as one such environmental antecedent to dementia and a new class of dementias known as TReNDs – Traumatic brain injury Related NeuroDegenerative disorderS – has emerged. This recasting of Alzheimer’s-like dementias as environmental conditions has significant implications for professions, patients, and publics and potentially transforms the classification, diagnosis, treatment, and regulation of neurodegeneration.

This project is based around a multi-sited ethnography, undertaken with scientists in molecular neuroscience; neuropathology; and sports science. Sitting at the intersection of medical sociology and Science and Technology Studies, the project asks:

Q1: How does depicting Alzheimer’s-related dementias as environmentally-induced change understandings of the classification, cause, and diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease?

Q2: How is research into traumatic brain injury shaping novel therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases? What are the consequences for patients?

Q3: How are regulations embedded into research on environmentally-induced dementias? What are the envisaged risks, regulations, and wider policy implications of this biomedical research?

In asking these questions, this project is amongst the first to empirically explore the societal and scientific implications of these emerging sciences of dementia.