Scientists are carrying out brain scans of 500 people all born in 1946 in an effort to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
They were all born within seven days of each other, in March 1946. And now, this group of 500 people from all over the UK, much like the children in the photo above, is about to take part in some very important research which could provide fascinating insights into dementia and the risk factors behind it.
No one in the group is a stranger to scientific testing. In fact, they’ve been monitored, tested and assessed since birth when they were volunteered for this major public health study by their parents.
Now aged 69, this is the first time they’ve been asked to undergo tests which might reveal early signs of dementia. All 500 of them will be given 3D MRI brain scans which can identify the distinctive plaques of Alzheimer’s disease. The scan will then be repeated two years later.
Blood, urine and DNA samples will also be taken in an effort to learn more about the early signs of dementia and how it may be diagnosed earlier.
‘The opportunities offered by this large scale longitudinal study are rare and exciting,’ said Paul Ramsbottom, chief executive of science charity the Wolfson Foundation. ‘The baby boom generation changed British society. And now this cohort of babies born in the same week in 1946 has the potential to help shape our understanding of dementia.’
Find out what happens during an MRI brain scan by clicking here.