A GROUND-breaking dementia study to help scientists identify the best early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease, and track responses to treatments, has restarted.

Recruitment of volunteers was put on hold in March, but participants are now being welcomed again at testing sites in Oxford and Exeter.

The team has worked to make the testing environments and procedures Covid-safe, introducing measures such as temperature checks, face coverings, PPE where appropriate, and dialogue with participants over NHS guidelines, symptom reporting, and actions to take during site visits.

The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will create a database of different measures taken from people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

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These measures include regular brain scans, cognitive and memory tests, scans of magnetic fields generated by the brain, retinal imaging, blood tests, and the use of wearable technology to measure movement, gait and ongoing cognitive abilities.

In the future, researchers will be able to use the data obtained through the study to understand if early interventions are working.

Dr Vanessa Raymont of Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry, who is leading the study, said the team were 'delighted' to be welcoming back volunteers.

The study will recruit 250 participants from across the UK who are over 60 and in good health, but with a family history of dementia, with researchers currently looking for Oxford participants.