CPFT researchers test technology to measure brain health at home | News

CPFT researchers test technology to measure brain health at home

Local dementia researchers are exploring how new wearable technology can be used at home to assess brain health and memory, in readiness for new treatments against dementia.

CPFT’s Windsor Research Unit has partnered with the University of Cambridge Department of Clinical Neurosciences to run the Cumulus (CNS-101) study, as one of multiple sites across the UK.

For this research, study participants aged 50 to 90 years old are asked to regularly use an electroencephalography (EEG) headset device and complete assessments at home using a mobile tablet over a year.

It’s one of the first studies testing such wearable devices at CPFT. Our research staff received specialist training to use the technology and then teach study participants how to wear the headset and complete the assessments. By using this technology at home, people can avoid having to travel to multiple appointments. 20 people have volunteered locally to join the study, which will continue until 2024.

James Rowe is the Professor of Cognitive Neurology at the University of Cambridge and Chief Investigator for this study.

James said: “We are delighted to have reached our local recruitment target, to help people living with dementia take part in one of our first studies testing wearable devices. We’ve received very positive feedback from participants about their experience and this has been a very successful study for a new research partnership with CPFT. There are lots of opportunities for further research in this area over the coming year. We hope to improve assessment of dementia, and find more effective treatments for people.”

CPFT has been highlighted as an exemplar site by the study sponsor, Cumulus Neuroscience, for their efforts to recruit participants, recognising the hard work of the Windsor Research Unit team who continue to run assessments and home visits with participants this year.

Alison Buick, Director of Clinical Programmes at Cumulus Neuroscience said: “We are committed to accelerating advancements for patients living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, by developing tools to measure more precisely what is happening in the brain over time. Our team work closely with CPFT and our other sites across the UK, to support them and the participants who are using our technology at home, without whom this research would not be possible.”

This week leads up to International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May 2023, which celebrates the contributions of everyone who makes research possible - especially volunteers, and raises awareness of how to be part of research to shape the future of healthcare with the NHS and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Participant Chris joined the CUMULUS project with his study partner Julia, who said: “Taking part in research isn’t about what you will gain from it but how others will gain from it later on in time. Being a part of this team has enriched our lives in more ways than we could have ever imagined, and we recommend and wish to encourage others to take part too, for change can only happen when we take part.”

Learn more about their experience in the full interview film available on CPFT Research YouTube. Click on the image below to play:

 Interview film

Chris and Julia are pictured above at CPFT’s Windsor Research Unit with clinical research nurses Lynda Barnes and Chidimma Obiekwe, who along with nurse colleague Ronny George, support the trial, managing all participant visits and assessments.

This study has completed recruiting volunteers, but anyone who is interested in participating in dementia research and other studies at CPFT can contact the Trust’s Windsor Research Unit on wru@cpft.nhs.uk or call 01223 219531.

The CUMULUS study is sponsored by Cumulus Neuroscience, Innovate UK (grant number 93826), P1vital Ltd., and supported by the University of Cambridge, CPFT and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).


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