Getting lost is one of the most common and distressing symptoms for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients and their families, often involving the police and in tragic cases resulting in death. However, the underlying reasons why patients are getting lost are virtually unknown.

One reason for this limited knowledge, is that it is not clear how healthy people navigate during ageing, in particular people who have an increased risk of developing AD.

This study is looking to identify a simple cognitive test to predict whether someone is likely to develop AD in the future.

What are the main aims of the study?

The proposed project will investigate this issue by determining if subtle spatial orientation deficits are already present in healthy people with an increased genetic risk of developing AD and if these spatial problems are present even before memory problems and before a formal dementia diagnosis is given.

These findings will therefore not only have potential to identify possible AD patients earlier for future disease-specific treatments, but also have direct practical safeguarding implications for one of the most distressing effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

What does it involve for a participant?

The participant will be invited to complete a telephone screening session, a number of spatial navigation tests, provide a saliva sample and may also be invited from an MRI brain scan.

How long is the study for?

The study will run for 18 months, and will comprise of 3-4 assessment sessions in total.

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

To identify a cognitive test that can predict whether individuals are likely to develop AD in the future.

Where is the study based?

The study is based at the University of East Anglia, Norwich and volunteers must be based within 20 miles of this site.

Who can take part?

Healthy participants aged 50 – 70 who may or may not be worried about their memory. Also participants with a family history of AD.

Lady-LookingatleafletYou can see if you are eligible for this study, as well as others around the nation, by logging into your Join Dementia Research account.

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