‘Join dementia research’ is working to connect volunteers with researchers. We recently got in touch with Chief InvestigatoJpegr, Dr Elizabeth Coulthard, to find out more about the Hippocampal changes in early Alzheimer’s disease study currently recruiting through ‘Join dementia research’.

What are the main aims of the study?

The Hippocampal imaging study is an exploratory study that aims to develop MRI techniques that can identify Alzheimer’s in the earliest stages. The new MRI methods only take about 15-30 minutes in the scanner, but give details about tiny regions within the Hippocampus. The hippocampus is a brain region affected early in Alzheimer’s disease. We are also asking people to do memory tests to see how the size of hippocampal subfields corresponds to memory.

What does it involve for a participant?

Participants visit us on 2-3 occasions. Before visiting they will receive information about the study, and the study can be discussed before signing a consent form on the first visit. Participants will then be asked to take part in two hour long sessions where they will fill in questionnaires, answer questions out loud or press a button or computer screen. There will be plenty of breaks. Participants will also have an MRI scan at CRICBristol.

How long is the study for?

The study is recruiting until the end of this year. We are recruiting healthy people over 50 as well as people diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or Fronto-temporal dementia. Most people just do the 2/3 sessions, but we will repeat the tests after 1 year in those with Mild Cognitive Impairment.

What do you hope the outcomes of the study will be?

We hope the outcome of the study will be a new, quick and non-invasive test that will allow earlier diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. If positive, our Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) protocols will be tested in a bigger study to ensure the techniques are effective.

Where is the study based?

The study is based at Southmead Hospital and CRICBristol.

How has ‘Join dementia research’ helped with recruitment?

‘Join dementia research’ has helped us to find people who are interested in taking part in the study.


The study is recruiting people who have been diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, Alzheimer’s disease or Fronto-temporal dementia. Could you be eligible? Please sign up for ‘Join dementia research’ and enter all the information required to find out.

The ‘Hippocampal MRIchanges in early Alzheimer’s disease’ study is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK.