Why is research needed
The research that the Platelet Charity supports focusses on the development of new diagnostic tests for platelet function disorders, platelet-like bleeding disorders and on the genetics of platelet function disorders.
Platelet function testing
There is an urgent needs for new tests to enable doctors to identify that a patient has a platelet function disorder or platelet-like bleeding disorder so that they can provide the appropriate medical support. At present, we only have a small number of test for some but not all platelet disorders.
The genetics of platelet function disorders
The sequencing of the human genome at the turn of the millennium means that it is now much easier to identify the gene mutations that give rise to platelet function disorders. The UK has the two largest projects investigating the genetic causes of platelet function disorders. The Genotyping and Platelet Phenotyping (GAPP) project has been running since 2006 and involves the universities of Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham and Sheffield (http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/mds/domains/cardio-resp-neuro/vita/platelet-gapp/index.aspx). It has identified many new gene defects that give rise to platelet function disorders.
The Bridge project involves the universities of Cambridge, Bristol and London, and aims to identify gene defects that give rise to all bleeding disorders (https://bridgestudy.medschl.cam.ac.uk/whatis.shtml).