The EPAD project, one of the major studies in Europe to find interventions that prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s dementia, has recruited its first participant. Julie Duffus, from Edinburgh (Scotland), is the first person to take part in the project.

Participants will have regular health checks including blood tests and brain scans. Researchers will also track their thinking skills over time using tests of mental agility. Afterwards, they will be invited to take part in clinical trials aimed at testing interventions that could delay, or even prevent, the onset of dementia.

According to Carlos Diaz, project manager of EPAD and CEO of SYNAPSE Research Management Partners: “The first patient in is one of the key and most exciting milestones in EPAD, the first step towards building the Longitudinal Cohort Study that will help us better understand early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. We are proud at SYNAPSE of our role as Algorithm Running Committee, which plays a critical part in the selection of all 6,000 volunteers to be involved in the EPAD project from across Europe.”

The 5-year, 36-partner, 64-million euro, Europe-wide initiative aims to improve understanding of the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease and how it leads to dementia. EPAD is mainly sponsored by the European Commission and the European pharmaceutical industry (via EFPIA) under the auspices of the Innovative Medicines Initiative Joint Undertaking (IMI JU). For more information: www.ep-ad.org.