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The PREVENT Dementia study at Trinity College Dublin



The PREVENT study aims to establish novel and clinically applicable early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease, 20 to 40 years prior to its clinical diagnosis. The Prevent study at TCD is part of a large-scale multi-centre study carried out in collaboration with Cambridge, Oxford, Edinburgh universities, Imperial College London in the UK and the INSERM Neuroscience, in France. It is designed in response to the pandemic of dementia – projected to increase from 46.8 million in 2015 to 131.5 million in 2050. Present drug treatments have limited ability to stop or even delay cognitive decline.


Recent studies suggest that biological, cognitive and emotional changes can already be seen in high-risk individuals many years before diagnosis. The early biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease that this study will develop will serve as essential prerequisites to future, population-wide early intervention programs, both pharmaceutical and environmental. Therefore, this work has tremendous potential to improve early detection, treatment and ultimately lead to the prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia.

Benefits of participation

  • Contribute in identifying early signs/risks of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Participants will receive a full medical and neurological check.
  • Participants can challenge themselves in enjoyable cognitive assessments.
  • There will  be no disclosure of personal information or risks for Alzheimer’s disease.

Participation requirements

  • 40-59 years old
  • Absence of dementia/cognitive impairments
  • With/without parents diagnosed with dementia
  • No contraindications for MRI (e.g. metal implants or claustrophobia)


In the first year, eligible participants will be asked to participate in two sessions of assessments (below). All tests will be repeated and participants monitored for changes two years later. 

The first session at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin will include

  • Biological samples including blood, saliva, urine, and spinal fluid (optional) will be collected.
  • Neurological examination
  • Lifestyle interview: Self-report

The second session will include an

  • 80-minute MRI scan

There will not be any disclosure of personal information or risks for Alzheimer’s disease.



Principal Investigators

Prof. Brian Lawlor
Asst. Prof. Lorina Naci & Naci lab


* = Corresponding/Senior

Dounavi ME, Newton C, Jenkins N, Mak E, Low A, Muniz-Terrera G, Williams GB, Lawlor B, Naci L, Malhotra P, Mackay C, Koychev I, Ritchie K, Ritchie Cw, Su L,  O’ Brien JT. Macrostructural brain alterations at midlife are connected to cardiovascular and not inherited risk of future dementia: The PREVENT-Dementia study. Journal of Neurology. Read here.

Graham M. Farina F, Ritchie C, Lawlor B, Naci L*. Fear of dementia and public sharing of research results. Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics. Accepted for publication.

Dounavi, Maria-Eleni; Mak, Elijah; Swann, Peter; Low, Audrey; Muniz Terrera, Graciela; McKeever, Anna; Pope, Marianna; Williams, Guy; Wells, Katie; Lawlor, Brian; Naci, Lorina; Malhotra, Paresh; Mackay, Clare; Koychev, Ivan; Ritchie, Karen; Su, Li; Ritchie, Craig; O'Brien, John. (2022) Differential association of cerebral blood flow and anisocytosis in APOE ε4 carriers at midlife. Under Peer Review.

Heneghan A, Deng F, Wells K, Ritchie K, Muniz-Terrera G, Ritchie CW, Lawlor BNaci L*. Modifiable lifestyle activities affect cognition in cognitively healthy middle-aged individuals at risk for late-life Alzheimer's Disease. Under Peer Review. Available as pre-print: medRxiv

Audrey Low, Maria A. Prats-Sedano, Elizabeth McKiernan, Stephen F. Carter , James D. Stefaniak, Stefania Nannoni, Li Su, Marialena Dounavi, Graciela Muniz-Terrera, Karen Ritchie, Brian LawlorLorina Naci, Paresh Malhotra, Clare Mackay, Ivan Koychev, Craig W. Ritchie, Hugh S. Markus , John T. O’Brien. The effect of ApoE4 on the relationship between modifiable risk factors and cerebral small vessel disease: the PREVENT-Dementia study. Under Peer Review

Elijah Mak, Maria-Eleni Dounavi, Grégory Operto, Elina T. Ziukelis, Coco Newton, Graciela-Terrera Muniz, Paresh Malhotra, Ivan Koychev, Clare Mackay, Brian LawlorLorina Naci, Katie Wells, Karen Ritchie, Li Su, Craig Ritchie, Juan Domingo Gispert, John T O’Brien. APOE ε4 accelerates age-related loss of cortical microstructure: The ALFA and PREVENT multi-cohort study. Under Peer Review

For more publications from the Prevent Dementia international consortium please see.