What are the main aims of the study?

Changes in blood flow to the brain can occur at an early stage of vascular, Alzheimer’s dementias and milder memory impairments. The aim of this study is to look at the changes the happen in blood flow to the brain in people living with dementia and healthy older adults using ultrasound. In particular, we are looking at the way the blood flow in the brain responds to memory questions or tasks.

Professor Tom Robinson, Chief Investigator on this study

What does it involve for a participant?

Participants will attend the Leicester Royal Infirmary to meet the researcher and consent to the study. After providing information on their background and medical health, a check of the brain blood flow on both sides of the head will be undertaken using ultrasound. If the blood flow can be seen adequately on both sides, we will then attach a heart monitor (ECG), blood pressure cuff on the finger, and plastic tubes in the nose (to measure waste breathing gases). Participants will then have 5 minutes of resting, followed by memory questions split into three sections. There is a rest in between each section where the equipment can be paused if needed.

How long is the study for?

The study is a one-off visit, however we asking a small number of people to do a second return visit but this is optional and does not mean you cannot attend for a one-off visit.

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

We hope to find out whether the brain blood flow responds differently to memory questions in different types of dementia and healthy older adults. We also want to find out if ultrasound is a possible way of improving diagnosis in dementia. In addition, abnormal brain blood flow could be a treatment target for future studies of dementia.

We plan to use the findings of this study to do future studies in Leicester of ultrasound, brain blood flow and dementia.

Where is the study based?

The study is based at the Leicester Royal Infirmary, and all travel expenses are provided, including return taxis if needed.

Who can take part?

  • Healthy older adults with no memory problems
  • Adults (aged 18-100) with Vascular dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment
  • Participants must be able to consent to the study
  • Exclusion criteria – severe heart or lung problems, irregular heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), narrowing of the blood vessels in the neck (carotid artery stenosis), a significant number of medical conditions, pregnancy, breast feeding or planning pregnancy

You can see if you are eligible for this study or others around the nation by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.

Not registered with Join Dementia Research? Why not sign up today?