Scientists are seeking around 250 healthy volunteers over the age of 65 to join a multi-million pound study that will track how the brain ages over several years.
The study was announced yesterday at the opening of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Dementia Prevention, attended by HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University.
Volunteers will be invited to take part in detailed memory tests to monitor their brain function.
Scientists will also analyse biological indicators, such as markers in blood and saliva, to analyse their health over time.
Researchers hope the results will identify early signs of changes in the brain while people are still in good health.
The Centre for Dementia Prevention will bring together specialists from the fields of medicine, basic science and the social sciences.
The team aims to advance understanding of the basic biology of neurodegeneration and deliver new medicines that could act before symptoms appear.
It also hopes to improve the experience of living with dementia for those affected by the condition.
Prof Craig Ritchie, co-Director of the Centre for Dementia Prevention at the University of Edinburgh said: “By understanding how the brain ages over time, it may be possible to detect the earliest stages of dementia before symptoms develop. We hope this insight will lead to the development of new treatments that could prevent the disease in those at risk.”