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The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping (DFP) Study is trying to find out, at an early stage, how we can identify people on the pathway to Alzheimer’s disease. The study also aims to identify biomarkers (biological markers of change) for clinical trials. 


The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping Study carries out regular brain scans, cognitive and memory testing, retinal imaging, blood tests and the use of wearable technology to measure movement and gait.

These tests will be carried out over the course of a year. They will be carried out on a range of people with different likelihoods of developing Alzheimer’s dementia. This will give the scientists a rich bank of data on blood, eyes and brain images from long before Alzheimer’s symptoms show.

Scientists hope that those participants who go on to develop AD will have a particular set of characteristics (biomarkers) early on, which they can use as predictors in other people for later development of the disease. When they do this, these people can be invited to participate in early drug trials.


The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will recruit 250 volunteers from existing study cohorts led by the Dementias Platform UK, and tests will be carried out over the course of 12 months. The participants from existing DPUK cohorts have agreed to be contacted about other studies. The health data already collected by these cohorts will help to enrich the study. The data collected by the Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will be uploaded to the DPUK data portal, making it available to other researchers.



The partners involved in the study are: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University College London, King's College London, West London Mental Health Trust/Imperial College London, Newcastle University, University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh, University of Exeter, Cambridge Cognition, Imanova, Aridhia, Exprodo, Sage Bionetworks, TrialSpark, Optos, NeuroVision Imaging, Berry Consultants, AstraZeneca/MedImmune and the Alzheimer’s Society.