For researchers

Prevent Dementia is led by Professor Craig Ritchie of the University of Edinburgh, with leading investigators at each of our study sites. The primary focus of the study is to recruit 700 volunteers into this longitudinal cohort study aiming to identify risk factors for dementia in mid-life. This cohort also feeds in to the European Prevention of Alzheimer's Dementia (EPAD) project as well as the TriBEKA Imaging Platform.
European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia
TriBEKA Imaging Platform

Working Groups

In addition to the primary project, we have two working groups that focus on genetics and imaging.

Genetics

Led by Dr Riccardo Marioni of the University of Edinburgh
Our primary goal is to generate cutting edge biological data to complement the existing neuropsychological, neuroimaging, lifestyle and clinical data collected as part of Prevent.

The integration of these data types will help:
  1. inform our mechanistic understanding of Alzheimer’s disease;
  2. improve prediction of Alzheimer’s disease and its risk factors.
We plan to use philanthropic funds to generate genetic data on all 700 participants from the Prevent Dementia cohort.

This will enable us to investigate if those at higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease based on their genes show earlier signs of differences in thinking skills, brain images, or other risk factors.

Imaging

Led by Prof John O’Brien of the University of Cambridge
The Prevent Dementia imaging group, aims to ensure maximum scientific value of our imaging data.
We aim to:
  1. determine multimodal MR and PET differences between middle-aged subjects stratified by risk of future dementia;
  2. examine serial changes in imaging biomarkers over time;
  3. investigate such biomarkers as putative intermediate outcome measures for future therapeutic trials; and
  4. understand the relationships between these biomarkers and other cognitive and non-cognitive features of Alzheimer’s disease related to temporal onset of dementia.
All subjects within the programme have multimodal MR imaging undertaken at baseline and at two- and five- year follow-up to gather:
  1. whole brain volumetric data
  2. volumetric FLAIR
  3. high resolution hippocampal sequences
  4. DTI
  5. resting BOLD
  6. fMRI after a memory activation task
  7. arterial spin labelling
  8. voxel-based proton spectroscopy
Participants also undergo amyloid PET imaging at a single time point and, in one centre (Cambridge), ultra-high resolution (7T) multimodal MR.

Amyloid imaging is undertaken with florbetaben, and 7T will include a number of sequences optimised to hippocampal structure and function.

Sub-studies

We have a number of sub-studies which have resulted from various collaborations with other academic institutions across the UK.

Amyloid Imaging in PREVENT (AIP) study:

Led by Professor John O'Brien this study involves 300 Prevent Dementia participants undergoing PET-CT scanning to investigate levels of brain amyloid in mid-life.

Professor John O’Brien’s biography
Retinal Imaging:

Led by Dr Tom MacGillivray this study invites all participants in Edinburgh to undergo retinal eye imaging using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT).

Dr Tom MacGillivray’s biography
Linguistic markers of future risk for Alzheimer’s disease:

Professor Alison Wray from Cardiff University recruits participants from the London, Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge sites. Participants are asked to complete an assessment which assesses whether it is possible to use language as a future indicator of dementia risk.

Professor Alison Wray’s biography
Cardiff University
Conversation-based analysis approach for automatic cognitive monitoring of population at risk of dementia:

Sofia de la Fuente Garcia conducted a Medical Research Council funded PhD project investigating whether features used in dialogue can be used to predict dementia onset in later life. Sofia will initially be recruiting participa.

Medical Research Council
Mobile Technologies for the Assessment of Cognition (MTAC) study:

Based at the University of Oxford this study explored the usability of two mobile technologies developed to track cognition and function. The first is a smartphone-based application and the second measures the interactions between a smartwatch worn by participants and Bluetooth beacons positioned around their homes to assess their level of function and activity and their ability to navigate their environment.

Medical Research Council

Engaging with Research: Barriers, Facilitators and Motivators for participating in Dementia prevention research:

The overall aim of this project is to explore the motives, facilitators, and organizational structural barriers to participation in dementia prevention/risk-reduction research in healthy middle-aged adults who are under-represented in research. The information gained from this study may help researchers to modify their research design and recruitment strategies in order to best support the inclusion of an equitable research population.

To achieve this objective this pilot project will conduct a qualitative interview sub-study with PREVENT Study participants, who are healthy middle-aged adults currently participating in prevention/risk reduction research.

ENtorhinal CoRtex Structure and Function in PREVENT (ENCRYPT)

ENCRYPT is investigating the function of the entorhinal cortex (EC), a brain region responsible for functions such as navigation, orientation, and memory of landmarks. The EC also happens to be one of the first regions affected by the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Thus, examining EC navigation functions in people at different levels of risk of developing AD can offer us crucial information about the earliest signs of dementia onset, and the best ways to detect and monitor them.

All participants complete a novel virtual reality navigation task and for some participants, an additional high-resolution 7T MRI brain scan is completed.

Data access requests

For requests to access PREVENT data please complete the following data access request form. Alternatively if you have any questions prior to completing the form please complete the contact form below.