Professor Alex Leff, Principal Investigator of the 'Gotcha!' study
Professor Alex Leff, Principal Investigator of the ‘Gotcha!’ study

Professor Alex Leff explains how his study into a new computer therapy may help people with dementia to remember the names of the people who are important to them.

We all forget the names of people we know at times. Having dementia can make this problem worse. People with dementia have told us they forget the names of people they care about and this can be upsetting and embarrassing.

However, we know that if people get enough practice, they can re-learn these names. That’s why we have worked with people with dementia and their carers to create a new computer therapy that may help.

The ‘Gotcha!’ study

‘Gotcha!’ is a fun computer-based therapy, designed to help people get lots of practice so that they can remember the names of people who are important to them.

If you are eligible for the study, we will provide you with a computer tablet to practice at home in your own time.

How does it work?

You will need to think of 6-10 familiar people (family and friends) whose names you forget and want to remember better.

Elderly couple using tablet computer at home

We will ask you to practice these names with the tablet for 30 minutes every day over a six week period.

We will also ask you to attend seven appointments with the research team over 12 months.

At three of these appointments you will have a brain scan. These scans are carried out by trained University College London professionals and will take no longer than half an hour.

We will organise and pay for all your journeys to and from University College London. For those appointments where you do not need to have a brain scan, the study team can visit you in your home if you prefer.

How can I take part?

Recruitment has already begun, and will continue until October 2020.

We would like you to be involved in our research if:

  • you ever see a familiar person, but sometimes can’t remember their name
  • you have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or mixed dementia
  • you are based in Greater London
  • you want to be part of an important and exciting research journey.

Unfortunately if you have a diagnosis of any other type of dementia not mentioned above then you are not eligible to take part in this study.

The study is based at University College London at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, so participants need to be based in the Greater London area.

What will be the outcomes of the study?

During this study we hope that people with dementia will improve their ability to name familiar people.

We want to show that computer-based therapies are an effective tool that can be used to improve memory problems associated with dementia.

The study will also enable us to understand how the brain changes in response to therapy for people with dementia.

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

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