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There is a huge focus right now around improving dementia diagnosis rates. Part of the work we’re doing here at DPUK enables researchers to identify biomarkers which may be able to detect the risk of dementia earlier, confirmed by a simple blood test. This could be transformational in speeding up and improving the diagnostic process.

Blood being taken from arm

Last month we announced that DPUK was successful in securing £4.5m of funding from the Alzheimer’s Society and the Postcode Lottery in the Blood Biomarker Challenge.

Our project, named READ-OUT (REAl-world Dementia OUTcomes), aims to perform broad, nationwide blood sampling at sites across the UK to achieve five goals.

  1. To describe the utility of blood-based dementia biomarkers in the UK population, especially in under-represented populations. 
  2. To understand which biomarkers perform the best in diagnosing Alzheimer’s and non-Alzheimer's dementias. 
  3. To understand the best mode of biomarker assessment in real-world populations, such as the use of postal bloods tests and how assay testing can be rolled out across the UK. 
  4. To describe the cost-saving benefits of at-scale biomarker testing. 
  5. To describe how biomarker testing can be implemented in clinical NHS pathways in a scalable and sustainable way.

To do this, we will use sites which are part of our Trials Delivery Framework (TDF) network which now extends to 59 sites in all four devolved nations, as well as via contacts from our partnering Integrated Care Boards (ICBs), so that we can leverage our geographic and population diversity. 

READ-OUT will support earlier interventions and generate evidence needed for them to be validated for use in the NHS in the next 5 years.  This is vital given new disease modifying treatments are most effective in patients in the earlier stages of the disease

For dementia research to progress we need volunteers to take part in studies and clinical trials. You can express your interest in participating in the READ-OUT project or our other studies supporting brain health research. We are always looking for both healthy volunteers and people who recognise they have memory issues or have already received a diagnosis.

Register your interest here: Blood Biomarker Challenge (