Edinburgh Dementia Prevention
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PREVENT Dementia

The PREVENT Dementia Research Programme investigates mid-life risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

Title: PREVENT Dementia Programme

Short title: PREVENT

Sponsor: University of Edinburgh

Chief Investigator: Prof Craig Ritchie, University of Edibnburgh; Prof Karen Ritchie, INSERM Neuroscience, Montpellier

Edinburgh PI: Prof Craig Ritchie

Ethics ref: 12/LO/1023

Funder: Alzheimer's Society, Alzheimer's Association, and philanthropic donations

Dates (estimated): September 2013 - Ongoing subject to funding

Synopsis: Prevent Dementia is a UK and Ireland wide study for people aged 40 – 59 without dementia. The study uses thinking and memory assessments, clinical examinations, MRI brain imaging and genetics to track how the brain changes throughout middle age.   

PREVENT has recruited 700 participants, and is now recruiting a subgroup of elite sportsmen and women to investigate the impact of sports-related head trauma on dementia risk. 

Aims:  The aim to find ways to predict who is at greatest risk of dementia and poor brain health, and in what ways. This data may allow earlier identification and interventions for indivduals and 'at risk' groups.

Recruiting: PREVENT is closed to public recruitment but is open to former professional football and rugby players.  If you are a former professional please contact Edinburgh Dementia Prevention.

Links and Publications: PREVENT Dementia Website. View the publications arising from PREVENT data on the publications page.


The video below is taken from the Alzheimer's Research UK 2022 conference and presents Audrey Low, PhD student, University of Cambridge, discussing the investigation into risk factors of small vessel disease in the PREVENT Dementia study of mid-life healthy adults. This is just one of the many investigations from the PREVENT Dementia Study.


Video: PREVENT Dementia study: risk factors of small vessel disease in mid-life healthy adults
Audrey Low, PhD student, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK, discusses and investigation into risk factors of small vessel disease in the PREVENT Dementia study of mid-life healthy adults. The PREVENT Dementia study aims to identify biological and psychological factors that may increase dementia risk in later life, improving our ability to identify the earliest signs of dementia and predict who is at greatest risk. In this study, modifiable risk factors (e.g. hypertension, diabetes, exercise, etc.) were found to be associated with small vessel disease while non-modifiable risk factors (e.g. inherited risk) were found to not be associated with mid-life small vessel disease. These risk factors are known to affect the risk of dementia much later in life, but these findings show that they could be affecting patients’ health and cognition much earlier than that. This interview took place at the Alzheimer's Research UK Conference 2022 in Brighton, UK.