In a long running birth cohort study scientists have been monitoring a group of 500 baby boomers, all born within March 1956, for 70 years in an effort to reveal the secrets of dementia. There is currently particular hope that this great depth of monitoring data, including brain scans among many other health tests, could provide information about how dementia originates and progresses.
'Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, one of the project’s funders, said: “These kinds of longitudinal studies are incredibly expensive and almost impossible to start from scratch, so this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain insights into dementia from the world’s longest running birth cohort study. As all the volunteers were born in the same week, the effects of age are perfectly controlled for, and other risk factors for dementia are easier to tease apart"'
These 500 individuals are soon to undergo MRI scans with a radioactive tracer to identity plaque formation along with providing urine and DNA samples in an effort to uncover more information about age-related neurodegenerative conditions. Now that over 800,000 people in the UK alone are suffering with dementia, the need for greater understanding is larger than ever before.
Read more at The Telegraph