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Professor Lovestone, from the University of Oxford's Department of Psychiatry announces the launch of a pioneering new trial in the quest to treat Alzheimer's disease.


 A £7million study led by Oxford University will help to develop vital early treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists aim to diagnose the disease in its initial stages when there are no clear symptoms. Some 250 people will undergo up to 50 tests to detect early signs of dementia for the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study, backed by the Medical Research Council (MRC). Wearable devices will measure changes in their gait while eye imaging will spot subtle changes affecting vision. Blood and urine will also be analysed to spot early indicators of Alzheimer’s, known as biomarkers.

We know that Alzheimer’s disease starts long before it is noticed by those with the disease or their doctor. Previous studies have shown changes to the brain as early as ten to 20 years before symptoms arise. If we can identify the biomarkers present in this very early stage, we have the chance of treating the disease earlier, which is vital if we are to prevent damage to people’s memory and thinking. - Professor Simon Lovestone

Currently, 99 per cent of clinical trials testing new dementia therapies fail – thought to be because they use participants whose brains are already too impaired.

Clear symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as severe memory loss, confusion and mood changes, appear only after it has progressed for many years, experts believe.

Some volunteers will be considered at risk of developing Alzheimer’s due to their age, genes, and performance in memory tests, but others will not be thought to be at risk.

media coverage of trial launch

Radio: BBC Radio 4, Today22/08/2016, 06:50

Professor Simon Lovestone is interviewed [49:30 on clock].

£7m project will search for the early signs of dementiaThe Times, 22/08/2016

£6.9m trial boosts hope of Alzheimer's breakthroughDaily Express, 22/08/2016

£7m bid to find Alzheimer's cureThe Daily Mirror, 22/08/2016

New £6.9 million trial to identify patients with early Alzheimer’s begins in UK,
Mail Online UK, via Press Association, 22/08/2016

UK study to improve Alzheimer's treatmentDaily Telegraph Australia online, 22/08/2016

UK study to improve Alzheimer's online, 22/08/2016

British new study to enhance early detection of Alzheimer's diseaseGlobal Times online

British new study to enhance early detection of Alzheimer's diseaseXinhua News Agency online, 23/08/2016

Breakthrough blood test could predict onset of Alzheimer’s diseaseDaily Express online, 30/08/2016, Olivia Lerche


Please follow the link below to read the news on the NIHR BRC website.