Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study
One of the big challenges facing dementia researchers is how to diagnose and track Alzheimer’s disease in its earliest stages – often decades before symptoms start to show. The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will help scientists to identify the best early warning signs of this condition, and to track responses to treatments.
Damage to the brain can start to occur many years before we see symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, and researchers need to be able to investigate and test treatments 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 taken from people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These measures include regular brain scans, cognitive and memory tests, scans of magnetic fields generated by the brain, retinal imaging, blood tests, and the use of wearable technology to measure movement, gait and ongoing cognitive abilities. In the future, we will be able to use the data obtained through DFP to understand if early interventions are working.
DFP is recruiting 250 participants from across the UK who are over 60 and in good health, but with a family history of dementia. Not all of the study sites have the capacity to do every type of testing, 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 behind DPUK’s ongoing work to set up standardised protocols for use within dementia research in the UK.
For its size, DFP is the world’s most detailed study to date into preclinical Alzheimer’s disease. It will provide the most comprehensive set of assessments ever completed in this group of people. Data from the study will be made available to researchers via the secure DPUK Data Portal.
If you want to help fight dementia, this is one of the best ways to do it. - Gillian (DFP study participant)
View the study protocol
News and features
Researchers in Oxford have begun screening participants in DPUK’s Deep and Frequent Phenotyping (DFP) study – the world’s most detailed study into early Alzheimer’s disease.
More than 100 researchers, 19 organisations, eight sites, and a fearless team conducting it all. DFP trial co-ordinator Tony Thayanandan gives the inside track on what it’s like to be part of such ambitious research.
Experts and volunteers come together to celebrate five years’ progress in accelerating dementia research
Scientists and health study volunteers from across the DPUK partnership came together to celebrate the launch of the world’s most in-depth study into preclinical Alzheimer’s disease – one of the most important outcomes from DPUK’s work to transform dementia research infrastructure in the UK.
Body-worn sensors used by people with mild Alzheimer’s to assess walking could offer a cost-effective way to detect the disease early and monitor its progression.