24 Days Meme V1Behind today’s door of the ‘Join dementia research’ advent calendar, we are learning about the ‘AFFECT’ study – which is very unique!
This is the first large-scale research study that is a collaboration between researchers in Northern Ireland, and staff at the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Specialty  in England.
It is also being jointly funded by the Alzheimer’s Society and British Heart Foundation.

Did you know that after Alzheimer’s Disease, Vascular Dementia is the most common cause of dementia? It affects millions of people around the world, and researchers are searching for an effective treatment.

There are different types of Vascular Dementia, but the most common is subcortical ischemic vascular dementia, or SIVD.

Some of the symptoms are related to the health of the heart, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Scientists are hopeful that medication which can treat these symptoms, may be effective against the condition as a whole.


How Does It Work?

Currently, doctors use a drug called amlodipine to treat high blood pressure and chest pains in patients with SIVD. They noted that often, the treatment could lead to stroke reduction and improved memory for people with dementia.
However, previous studies on this topic were relatively small and the results unclear.

Now, researchers have funding to recruit more than five hundred people into a study where amlodipine can be tested on more people to obtain clearer results.

Researchers have proudly announced, “This will be the first large-scale treatment trial in people with vascular dementia which will use robust guidelines to diagnose and monitor patients throughout.”


Get Involved

Five hundred volunteers from around England with the symptoms of SIVD are sought. They must be over fifty, and have with them a close friend or family member who can act as an ‘informant’ and help research staff understand what changes may have occurred in the volunteer.

The volunteers will be enrolled on the study for two years, with regular visits to submit samples, have scans of the brain, and undergo assessments.
Researchers will also be in telephone contact with the volunteer and their informant to discuss progress.

You can find out if you meet the requirements by signing up with ‘Join dementia research’ via the link on the right. You may find even more studies you are eligible for!


Let Us Know!

Have you been involved in a study on the service? What did you learn? Any advice you would give to a first-timer?

If you would like to share your story, please email us at comms.jdr@nihr.ac.uk. Please follow us on Facebook + Twitter!