The ‘AMPLE’ study, which is based at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, investigates ‘amyloid imaging’ for the observable characteristics of Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB), which is the second most common cause of degenerative dementia in the UK.

Beta-amyloid is a protein, deposits of which can be found in the brain of a person who has Alzheimer’s Disease.
Until recently, it has been impossible to identify the levels of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain prior to examination of autopsy material.
Now, however, methods of imaging the distribution of this protein in living people have been developed, using PET scanning.

These techniques have so far been focused on Alzheimer’s disease, however there is some evidence to show that beta-amyloid can also be present in people with DLB. The AMPLE study is therefore applying the PET scan imaging techniques to the study of DLB.

Aims of the Study

The aim of the AMPLE study is to investigate the distribution of beta-amyloid in the brains of people with DLB, and compare it to those with Alzheimer’s disease, as well as people without memory problems.

The researchers anticipate finding that beta-amyloid will be present in some people with DLB, and that people with more beta-amyloid will have more symptoms of memory problems.

Who can take part?

AMPLE are aiming to recruit 80 adults, aged 60 years and over, to their study. They are looking for individuals with Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Alzheimer’s disease and healthy controls.

As well as a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer’s disease, or probable Dementia with Lewy Bodies, participants must be free of major psychiatric or physical illnesses, have no history of excess alcohol intake or neurological illness (such as stroke, etc.) and be willing to undergo PET scanning.

To find out whether you may be eligible to take part in the AMPLE study – or to check for someone else if you are a carer – please enroll with ‘Join dementia research’ by clicking the sign up button to the right.  You may also find other studies you are interested in taking part in!