New Alzheimer’s Disease study launched in UK
Finding new treatments for people with dementia is a priority in the UK’s health sector. Statistics published by Alzheimer’s Research UK show that more than 1.5 million people, which includes those with dementia and their carers, would benefit from dementia treatments today.
However, with biological changes to the brain beginning to appear before the onset of dementia symptoms, it can be difficult to find people who could participate in essential research studies at an early stage in the disease.
This could be set to change, with the announcement of a new study in the UK, thought to be the “world’s most in-depth study to detect signs of Alzheimer’s disease”, according to the Alzheimer’s Society. The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will conduct a thorough series of tests on volunteers, looking at biological markers in those at risk of developing the disease in the future. By monitoring these, it’s hoped that the changes that happen in the brain will be able to be identified sooner. This early detection could help to find new ways to treat dementia.
Due to the nature of the disease, it can be difficult for people to take part in the invasive nature of the tests, but a pilot study, supported by Alzheimer’s Society, has led to the go-ahead of a larger study of 250 UK-based volunteers.
Matt Murray, Engagement and Participation Manager at Alzheimer's Society, said: “'This exciting research will help transform our understanding of the earliest signs and symptoms of dementia, supporting researchers to ensure that they recruit the most appropriate people for their trials.”
While this study could lead to successful trials into medication, for now prevention is the best cure. You can reduce your risk of developing the disease by making lifestyle changes, including taking exercise, eating well and staying mentally active.
If you want to know more about dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and how to cope if a family member is diagnosed, see our in-depth guide.