What are we going to do about the growing challenge of dementia?

I have previously done a posting about my participation in a study looking at the health risks which might predict the onset of dementia. The study, conducted by Imperial College in London, is called CHARIOT PRO – a abbreviation for Cognitive Health in Ageing Register: Investigational, Observational, and Trial studies in dementia research: Prospective Readiness cOhort Study.

The study – led by the world-renowned Professor Lefkos Middleton – involves over 400 of us aged between 60-85 – each of whom has a study partner – who are given cognitive tests and health questionnaires every three months. This weekend, hundreds of the participants and study partners gathered at Imperial College for four and half hours of briefings on the nature of dementia and the research being conducted around it.

For most of human history, average life expectancy was around 30 years but today it is over 70 years and still rising. This means that, for most of history, dementia has not been an issue but, since it was first diagnosed by the German physician Aloysius Alzheimer in 1901, the number of sufferers has grown and grown worldwide and, as longevity increases and birth rates fall, the proportion of the population suffering dementia will increase.

The headline message of this weekend’s meeting was that so far every study testing a drug with sufferers of dementia has failed to work, so now the focus is on trying to identifying what might tell us who is most likely to develop dementia so that they can be given drugs before the symptoms become apparent.

This requires a well-structured, long-term examination and the CHARIOT PRO study is currently one of the top five in the world on the issue of dementia,. Originally participants were signed up for three and a half years, but this weekend we were advised that funding has now been agreed to carry out testing for a further year. So I’m probably in this project until I’m approaching 75.


  • Mavis


    Thank you for taking part and all those others as well.

    I am watching my Cousin slip away from me. It is heartbreaking.

    I sincerely hope that someone, somehow in the future finds cause and perhaps a cure.

    4 years into the diagnosis, given Arecept, but even they are not sure if it slows it down. 89 this September.

  • Roger Darlington

    I do so feel for you and Joan.


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