The Protect Study:


Launched on November 2015  


The PROTECT Study (Platform for Research Online to investigate Genetics and Cognition in Ageing) is an exciting and important 10 year UK remote research study, designed to further understanding in healthy brain ageing and the development of dementia. One highly innovative feature of PROTECT is that participation involves no clinic visits, with all data gathering and communication being conducted remotely. Open to individuals aged 50 and over, living in the UK and without a dementia diagnosis, this study has over 20,000 participants and is now in its second year.


During the study the participants provide a range of information and complete online assessments to measure abilities such as attention, memory and reasoning. These assessments are repeated annually to monitor the profiles of change over the study. The majority of the participants have already provided DNA samples through a simple at-home kit.


Participants have, and will continue to have, access to innovative studies that aim to answer crucial questions such as:

  • How do key measures, such as memory, attention and reasoning change as we age?

  • How do lifestyle choices, including exercise habits and diet affect the risk of dementia?

  • What role does genetics play in the quality of brain function with normal ageing, and how do genetics influence the risks of developing dementia?

  • What are the early signs of dementia and how can they be distinguished from normal ageing?

  • What approaches such as brain training can be delivered online to influence the ageing process and delay the development of dementia?


The CogTrack tests are seamlessly accessed as part of the core assessments of cognitive function in PROTECT. During the first year, over 16,000 participants, aged 50 to 96, have successfully performed CogTrack tests on up to 9 occasions.


This study is sponsored by Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health and Dementia Unit at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust the institute of psychiatry, King’s College London.

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