Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is recruiting in Manchester to two research trials which aim to better understand what happens before dementia develops and to investigate whether early identification could lead to new treatments.
One trial is open to anyone, 50 or over with either no diagnosed cognitive problems or a diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment. This study will involve annual questions to assess memory and cognition, brain scans and the collection of samples such as blood, urine and saliva to help understand what happens in the brain before dementia develops. It will also be a way to identify people who could be invited to take part in trials of new medications or other interventions to prevent dementia.
In the second trial, researchers are looking for people with a specific double gene which may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. The eligibility criteria are:
- Aged 65 – 75 years
- Have no diagnosis of memory loss.
Healthy volunteers who meet the above criteria are asked to contact the Research Office for more details on how to take part in the study. Not everyone carries the double gene we’re looking for, so potential volunteers will need to sign up to have a quick cheek swab to test to see if they carry the gene and are eligible to take part in the trial.
If volunteers are found to have the specific double gene this does not mean they will develop Alzheimer’s, just that they may be at higher risk. They then would be given the choice to go on to the clinical trial, where participants will be given an investigational treatment or a placebo and asked to attend regular visits to their local study site. This is to monitor the safety and potential effectiveness of the treatments. The study will last five to eight years and aims to evaluate treatments that could potentially delay Alzheimer’s.
Dr Sarah Fox, Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Officer for Greater Manchester Dementia Research Centre said, “Although we are yet to develop a cure for illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, we are making massive strides towards treatment which can manage symptoms and even slow the diseases down. One day, we hope that this will lead to the development of treatments which can stop these diseases before any cognitive symptoms develop.
“Many people who take part in research say it gives them hope, not just for themselves but for their families and future generations. It can also promote a sense of community, a coming together of people who have a shared interest as well as an opportunity to talk with trained professionals outside of traditional medical settings.
“Even though all treatments on offer at the moment are experimental, access to new treatments can provide a sense of hope and a sense of doing something positive.
“On behalf of researchers, I would encourage eligible people to get involved in these trials as they are vital to the continued success of our understanding and treatment of these illnesses.”
If you are interested in taking part in one of these trials, please contact the research office on 0161 271 0084 or, to find out about other exciting research happening across the city, sign up with Join Dementia Research either through their website www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk or by calling Alzheimer’s Research UK on 0300 111 5 111.