Leicester researchers provide expertise to world-leading Alzheimer’s prevention study

The European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (EPAD) passes the mark of 1,000 participants for its Longitudinal Cohort Study  

The EPAD Longitudinal Cohort Study - one of the world-leading dementia prevention studies - has recruited its 1,000th participant at the University of Oxford (UK).

The study, led from the University of Edinburgh, is a Europe-wide collaboration aiming to improve the understanding of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. The EPAD project offers a unique platform for testing and developing preventative treatments for Alzheimer’s dementia.

This new approach of tackling the global challenge of dementia has reached a milestone where the EPAD Cohort has screened more than 1,000 research participants. 

“We want to stand with the young academics and researchers helping to find a cure or amelioration for dementia,” said a research participant in the EPAD study.

Researchers from the University of Leicester led by Professor Anthony Brookes from the Department of Genetics and Genome Biology conceived, developed and runs the methodology employed in the study for remotely discovering suitable subjects to then invite into the cohort. 

The platform developed by Leicester expertise is easily customised for many other types of 'asset discovery' application, and is now being used internationally in a number of other major biomedical programs.

Professor Brookes said: “The success we have had with the EPAD is extremely satisfying, and opens the way to doing something similar in many other disease areas in the future.”

EPAD is set up to recruit from existing cohort studies as well as clinics across Europe. EPAD has established the first pan-European register including more than 30,000 research participants aged 50 or over across the dementia risk spectrum. 

From this register, individuals who do not have dementia are invited to join the EPAD Cohort study, involving regular health checks, standardised tests and brain scans. All participants are followed up over several years. 

Many participants in the EPAD Cohort study may be invited to participate in the EPAD Proof of Concept Trial to test new treatments for the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia.

“Recruiting from the EPAD Cohort allows us to select the right people for the drug studies who are most likely to benefit from them. We are very grateful to have reached 1,000 participants in this globally important project”, said Professor Craig Ritchie, EPAD Co-coordinator.

Participants in the EPAD Cohort are contributing to the advancement of science around dementia prevention in 20 locations across 7 European countries (i.e. France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and UK).