We’ve reached another hugely exciting milestone for the PREVENT Research Programme this week by being awarded a new grant from Alzheimer’s Society to extend PREVENT recruitment to two new research centres based at the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge.
We have received a huge amount of interest from people wanting to sign up to PREVENT. However, given capacity, we have recruited the maximum number of participants possible at our first site based in West London Mental Health Trust. Following this, Prof Ritchie and the PREVENT team decided it was necessary to explore new ways to try and open up the study elsewhere to allow the opportunity for others to take part.
We are delighted to say that the PREVENT team successfully applied for a large project grant to the Alzheimer’s Society and have received an additional £400,000 to open up two new research sites. Alongside this the PREVENT Membership scheme was also launched, and along with generous donations to the project, our University of Edinburgh centre was also opened in October 2015.
On behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown, Director of R&D, underlined the charity’s commitment to prevention:
“Finding ways to prevent dementia is a top priority for Alzheimer’s Society. By 2025 over one million people in the UK are expected to have the condition so it is vital that we invest in research to identify risk reduction strategies. The PREVENT study is the largest study to do this in the UK and we’re delighted to be awarding them additional funding to expand it to Oxford and Cambridge.”
Professor John O’Brien from the University of Cambridge remarked:
“We are delighted to have secured funding to open the Cambridge PREVENT centre, to expand this important study on investigating risk factors and early biomarker changes in those at risk of future dementia. Within Cambridge we will include state of the art imaging using high field strength imaging systems. Such studies are essential if we are to move in a meaningful way towards studies of reducing risk and, ultimately, preventing dementia.”
Professor Simon Lovestone from the University of Oxford expressed his team’s excitement about being involved with the programme:
“We are very excited about Oxford joining the PREVENT study. This is an enormously important study and I hope that we will make a real contribution to the future prevention of dementia. To do that we really need to understand the very first signs of disease in the brain, long before dementia actually starts. This study will do that and so do the groundwork that will allow us to build a truly preventative approach to this terrible disease.”
Study lead, Prof Craig Ritchie from University of Edinburgh, added:
‘This marks a really pivotal day in helping us to understand the earliest changes in the brain that lead in later life to dementia. There remains huge public and scientific interest in our project and we are continuing to seek additional funding streams in particular through our very successful membership programme. This will allow us to extend recruitment potentially to other sites, organise a series of sub-studies and ensure we can follow up the existing cohort for even longer. We can’t thank Alzheimer’s Society enough for their commitment to prevention in general and the PREVENT project specifically.”
We were really pleased to recently share the news with the PREVENT participants. Kim Tysall, co-chair of the PREVENT Participants’ Panel said she was delighted:
“Being a participant in the PREVENT trial and being involved in the participants panel has been hugely rewarding and has given me greater insight into the importance of this research. It is great to hear that this significant work can now continue extend to these two new sites.’
Cate Latto, co-chair of the Participants’ Panel added:
“This is great news for Prevent and for the fight against dementia. Expansion means more participants and more data for our scientists and with every new site and participant we take a step nearer to beating this disease. It is important people feel that there are meaningful ways they can help, by getting involved with research directly through participation or by supporting in some way such as through the PREVENT Membership scheme. This study means so much to me on a personal level but also for the worldwide war against this disease and to be part of something that is gaining strength and numbers in this way could not be more important.”
We’re really looking forward to working with the new teams in Oxford and Cambridge and will be initiating these new sites for recruitment towards the end of the Summer 2016.
Please contact our National Coordinator Katie Wells (Katie.email@example.com) if you would be interested in taking part in PREVENT at either of our new sites in Oxford and Cambridge, or if you wish to know more about supporting our study.