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Our studies

MARC conduct a range of clinical trials into dementia, mild cognitive impairment and memory problems with the aim to better understand how to diagnose, treat, cure and prevent dementia.

If you are interested in participating in our current trials, please contact us.

If you do not believe you would be appropriate for one of our current trials, you can still contact us to learn more about our upcoming trials.

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Infusions for people with Alzheimer's Disease or mild cognitive impairment

This is a pharmaceutical drug study that aims to improve memory and cognition for people with Alzheimer's Disease or mild cognitive impairment.

Instead of tablets, this study uses infusions of the drug intravenously via a drip. The drug aims to target the abnormal proteins that may be the cause of memory problems and cognitive impairment. 

Inclusion criteria

Alzheimer's Disease

Dementia with Lewy Bodies drug trial

This is a pharmaceutical drug study that aims at improving cognition, memory and functioning of people with dementia with lewy bodies.

This tablet drug is thought to increase a chemical in the brain which is thought to improve the way cells communicate in the brain. By improving the way cells communicate, the drug may improve cognition.

Inclusion criteria

Dementia with Lewy Bodies

Agitation in Alzheimer's Disease

This study is a pharmaceutical drug which aims to reduce symptoms of agitation in people with Alzheimer's Disease.

Agitation symptoms can be very distressing for the person with dementia but also for their family members. This drug has the potentially to reduce agitation and therefore some of the distress associated with agitation.

Inclusion criteria

Alzheimer's Disease

Agitation

 

Genetics in Dementia with Lewy Bodies

This is an observational study that aims to find out more about potential genes associated with dementia with lewy bodies.

 The study involves one visit with memory tests, a blood test and discussion about family history.

Inclusion Criteria

Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB)

PALS - The Project About Loneliness and Social networks

This study will test if it is possible to reduce the negative impacts of loneliness and social isolation by focussing on the support networks that people have around them. The Generating Engagement in Network Involvement (GENIE) intervention is a facilitated web-based social networking tool designed to overcome the barriers to social participation, by identifying where social contact is lacking, focussing attention on valued activities and identifying potential access to social and health enhancing resources. The study will explore how GENIE can be used to improve social networks using existing local community groups and resources, to provide emotional and physical health benefits to participants.

Inclusion Criteria

Anyone who may be experiencing loneliness or social isolation

GLAD - Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression

This is an opportunity for anyone who has or is suffering with anxiety or depression to take part in the biggest study of it's kind, looking at the factors behind anxiety and depression.
The GLAD study involves four simple steps:
1. Register via the GLAD website and read the information sheet
2. Provide your consent
3. Complete a 30-60 minute questionnaire
4. If you are eligible, you will be sent a saliva collection kit in the post

 

Study Contact: Joanne McCarthy               

Email: Joanne.McCarthy@southernhealth.nhs.uk
Tel: 02380 475943
 

Inclusion Criteria

Anyone with anxiety or depression

UDAMO

Self-help apps- do you use them? Are they useful? And how could they be improved?
A short questionnaire study aiming to gain insight into the use of self-help apps. The questionnaire thakes about 10-15 minutes.
If you would like to take part or want more information please contact the study lead:
Study Contact: Dr Lizi Graves
Email: lizi.graves@southernhealth.nhs.uk
Tel: 02380 475943


Inclusion criteria


All staff who are involved in providing care for people aged 18 years and above with physical and mental health problems are being invited to take part in this survey. Please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YPS3CZ2
  
Service users receiving care for mental health problems aged 18 years and above. Please click on this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/YPZHLNR

 

Clive's Corner

MARC is proud to be home and host of Professor Clive Holmes (Director of Academic Research at MARC). Professor Holmes is one of the leading researchers in Alzheimer's Disease worldwide and is at the forefront of progress in dementia research.
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Professor Clive Holmes

The RhEumatoidarthritiS, medIcation and memory STudy (RESIST)

Two distinctive features of the brains of people suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease are amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. Alongside these changes there is also evidence that inflammation is occurring in the brain (neuroinflammation).
There is increasing evidence that neuroinflammation contributes as much to the disease progression of Alzheimer’s Disease as do the plaques and tangles themselves. A modest increase in the level of a protein in the blood that promotes inflammation: tumour necrosis factor –alpha (TNF-α) has been found to be associated with increased memory decline in people with Alzheimer’s Disease.
TNF-α inhibitors are widely used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory arthritis. TNF-α inhibitors are used to reduce the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and to reduce joint damage in people with moderate to severe disease. They are usually prescribed when traditional disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate do not work. TNF-α inhibitors: etanercept, adalimumab, certolizumabpegol, infliximab and golimumab inhibit the action of TNF, thus suppressing inflammation.
There is a growing evidence base which suggests these drugs may be important in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.  A small study has shown that patients taking TNF-α inhibitor drugs for rheumatoid arthritis may be protected against the development of Alzheimer’s Disease by as much as 60%. A small randomised double-blind study of a TNF-α inhibitor (etanercept) showed significant evidence of a slowing down of cognitive decline after regular injections under the skin. This suggests that inhibition of this protein may be an approach to Alzheimer’s Disease treatment.
We have assessed data from the British Society of Rheumatology Biologics Registry-Rheumatoid Arthritis (BSRBR-RA). This registry contains data on 19,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis on a biologic drug. Those on a TNF-α inhibitor were compared to those on a traditional DMARD. Rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with TNF-α inhibitors appeared to have a lower incidence of dementia compared to traditional DMARD patients.
As a result of this preliminary evidence we are carrying out a comprehensive study, funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, of rheumatoid arthritis patients on TNF-α inhibitors who have early memory problems and following their memory function over 18 months and comparing how well they do with a group of rheumatoid arthritis patients with memory problems who are on traditional DMARDs.
If TNF-α inhibitors are found to reduce the rate of cognitive decline in participants with rheumatoid arthritis who have early memory problems this would give enough evidence for a definitive randomised controlled trial of TNF-α inhibitors in people at risk of dementia.
Participants are now being recruited from rheumatology out-patient clinics in Belfast and Southampton.
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