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This study is currently recruiting participants. Click here for more information about recruitment and participant eligibility criteria.

Damage in the brain can start to occur up to 15 years before we see symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers need to be able to investigate and test interventions at this critical early stage. At present, proving that a new early-stage treatment works is difficult because any symptoms will be a long way off.

The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping (DFP) Study aims to address this by creating a database of different measures from people at risk of Alzheimer's disease. This includes regular brain scans, cognitive and memory testing, retinal imaging, blood tests and the use of wearable technology to measure movement and gait. In the future we will be able to use the data obtained through DFP to understand if early interventions are working.

DFP is the most detailed study to date into preclinical Alzheimer’s disease for its size in the world. Currently work is under way to recruit 250 suitable participants for the study from a number of DPUK cohorts. To date the research team are recruiting from UK Biobank and the Generation Scotland cohorts. The extensive programme of testing will be coordinated across eight different study centres and four imaging centres.

Not all of the study sites have the capacity to do every type of testing required in this study so some participants will travel to nearby centres for certain tests. Enabling research teams to make use of facilities in other centres is a key reason underlying DPUK’s work in setting up standardised protocols for use with the new research infrastructure in the UK.

The DFP study is jointly funded by the MRC and NIHR.

Selected publications