The 25th February 2019 marks 5 years from the date of the first participant joining the PREVENT Dementia Research Programme. To highlight this landmark anniversary, we are launching our most ambitious fundraising challenge yet.
Together, we will run around the world to PREVENT dementia.
From February 2019 to February 2020, between us, we will cover a combined distance of 40,075km. The equivalent to running all the way around the equator of the earth.
For this we will need your help. Regular exercise that gets your heart beating faster is one of the most effective ways that you can look after your brain health. We are asking you – along with your friends, family and colleagues, to join our running team and contribute towards our grand total of 40,075km. From a light jog around the park to an ultra-marathon, every step will build towards our ultimate goal. By adding up the kilometres covered from every individual member of our running team we aim to make it around the world by the end of February 2020. Every penny raised will support the PREVENT Dementia Research Programme.
Be sure to follow our progress with regular updates here as well as via our Twitter page @AD_PREVENT
If you have any questions please do get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch: Dementia Prevention Open Lecture Series
The University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Open Learning and Centre for Dementia Prevention have teamed up to present a series of open public lectures to improve understanding of dementia.
The Dementia Prevention Open Lectures will highlight the centre’s vision to:
advance understanding of biomarkers in clinical and preclinical human populations
drive global efforts to deliver new medicines that could act before clinical symptoms of dementia appear
improve the experience of living with dementia by developing strategies that increase the quality of life
empower people to understand and protect their brain health, for a future without dementia.
The lecture series runs 13th February – 6th March. Free tickets are available online here
What is Neurodegenerative Disease? Part 1
In our first lecture, Prof. Craig Ritchie provides an introduction to the Dementia Prevention Open Lecture Series, discussing how, when and where dementia occurs, its symptoms and an overview of research into preventing dementia and cognitive decline.
What is Neurodegenerative Disease? Part 2
In our second lecture, Prof Karen Ritchie, Prof Tara Spires-Jones and Prof Adam Waldman discuss the biology of neurodegenerative disease, it’s biomarkers, how brain imaging can aid diagnosis and how cognitive features, such as memory, reasoning and problem-solving present across the disease spectrum.
Treatments for Neurodegenerative Disease
For our third Lecture, Prof Craig Ritchie and Dr Tom Russ cover the pharmacological (drug) treatments we currently use for dementia and how these act in the brain. They also explore how environmental factors may influence dementia risk and look towards new targets for the development of future treatments – both pharmacological and non-pharmacological.
Future Directions – What needs to be done?
In our fourth and final lecture, Prof Craig Ritchie discusses the future for dementia prevention through large scale research programmes and shifting the way we currently deliver key healthcare services.
PREVENT 2018 Year Review
2018 was an eventful year for PREVENT dementia with the
study reaching a series of milestones. Firstly, back in January we saw the last
participants at our research site in London for their 2 year follow-up visits.
This was a significant event for the study as it meant analyses could begin
which would compare participant data collected at baseline to the follow-up
data collected two years later. We are busy working on these analyses now and
hope to share some of these results during this New Year.
April then brought the close of recruitment at our Oxford
site after completing baseline assessments for 68 participants. As one door
closed another opened with our Dublin site joining the study. The Dublin team received
overwhelming interest in the project and have been working hard to welcome many
new volunteers into PREVENT. They aim to
have recruited 100 participants into the study by June this year. In November
our Cambridge site also closed for recruitment having recruited 100
At the end of 2018 we had recruited an incredible 519
participants into the PREVENT Dementia Programme! Having over 500 people
involved in the study feels like such an incredible achievement and we are
hugely grateful to each and every participant and study team member who has
enabled this to happen.
In December we held our annual conference in London. We were delighted to be joined by so many interested PREVENT participants and supporters. A fantastic line-up of speakers gave us a chance to reflect on the progress the study has made so far as well as a glimpse at some of the exciting new directions the project is headed. Among these are a number of innovative sub-studies that continue to run in parallel with the main study visits. From powerful new ways to image the health of the eye and specific proteins in the brain, assessing changes in the way we use language and using the latest technology to easily and accurately measure skills of thinking and navigation. All these fascinating projects benefit greatly from the detailed core data collected within the main study and from the amazing dedication and willingness of PREVENT participants to get involved!
As well as directly participating in additional research projects, this year saw another important step to help PREVENT participants’ data go even further. Information collected for the study will now be available to researchers around the world as part of the Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network (GAAIN). This resource allows researchers to share data from multiple individual studies to increase the power of their analysis. We are thrilled that through our TriBeKa collaboration, along with the ALFA study, PREVENT data is contributing to this cooperative global effort to advance research into the causes, prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Throughout 2018 we hosted a wide range of public engagement events. We were thrilled to be nominated as charity of the year by the University of Edinburgh Estates department who carried out several amazing fundraising events throughout the year. A particular highlight for us was the 5 a side football tournament which featured an enthusiastic, if ultimately unsuccessful, Centre for Dementia Prevention team! We also hosted our first concert in collaboration with the charity Playlist for Life. A wonderful collection of Scottish musical stars made for a memorable evening and we hope this is something we can make a regular event.
In autumn the team embarked on a tour of the West coast of Scotland hosting evening talks in several small community venues. The discussions aimed to raise awareness of brain health and dementia prevention in local populations who may conventionally have more limited access to this information. The tour was such a success we hope to repeat this again in 2019, visiting more seldom served locations across Scotland.
Not limited only to Scotland, some of the most exciting developments
for PREVENT have come from the increasing global reach of the programme. For the past year we have
been working with the Bangalore Institute of Neurosciences on the translation
and cultural adaptation of the COGNITO neurological battery, used in PREVENT,
for three Indian languages and for a population which is largely illiterate.
The Institute are undertaking a long term study which shares many measures in
common with PREVENT including the brain scanning procedures and will now
incorporate COGNITO therefore allowing us to share data. We presented a first
joint poster at a large conference in Bangalore in December and are now
planning a first publication looking at cross cultural differences in the
impact of fasting blood sugar levels on cognitive performance.
have also established solid collaborations with researchers at the University
of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute who are leading the Global Dementia Prevention Programme
(GloDePP) initiative which focuses particularly on research into preventative
measures in low and middle income countries. PREVENT Data and Research
Scientist Dr. Sammy Danso plays a key role in GloDePP and recently Sammy and
his team travelled to China to visit colleagues who are currently establishing
a dementia study in Beijing.
We are also exploring opportunities to further extend PREVENT’s global influence to Latin America (Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina) and set up studies harmonised with PREVENT with the aim of investigating dementia risk factors and the capacity for individuals in these contexts to adopt and engage in risk modifying interventions. Alongside this, in June Prof Craig Ritchie attended a conference in Sydney presenting his prevention research and highlighted the work being done in PREVENT. The study was also well represented at the large Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago in July. Finally, in October the team also traveled to China to meet with colleagues who we hope we will work with for many years developing new research which will allow PREVENT to become a truly global project.
These collaborations will continue to strengthen moving into
2019 meaning this could possibly be the biggest year yet for the PREVENT
Dementia Programme! Recruitment to the study will close this year allowing our
study statisticians to start analysing the data collected across all 5 of our
research centres. Follow-up visits will also start at our centres in Oxford and
Cambridge and continue at our centre in Edinburgh and by 2020 we will have
collected follow-up data from 3 of our research sites. We are also finalising
plans for an epic fundraising challenge, look out for an announcement coming
We owe a huge debt to everyone who has dedicated so much to
our research throughout 2018. We’re really excited for reaching our next
milestones in 2019 and looking forward to seeing what else the year has in
store for PREVENT Dementia.