Multidisciplinary Dementia Research
The Dementia Research and Care Clinic (TRACC) aims to become a centre of excellence in the field of dementia research. An expert multidisciplinary team, working in close contact with local NHS staff, will follow participants longitudinally from diagnosis (or even pre-diagnosis) to the end stages of dementia. This transdiagnostic study involves neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia, which have varying structural changes in the brain but overlapping cognitive and behavioural changes. A comprehensive assessment package, including neuropsychological measures, collection of blood, urine and stool samples, and brain imaging, will generate data to inform key research questions, while providing research participants and their care professionals with clinical feedback. The newly gained knowledge from this study will lead to improved diagnostic accuracy, even in the early stages, which will increase the efficacy of new disease modifying therapies.
Key Research Questions
- To longitudinally track the disease progression in patient participants across various neurodegenerative conditions and profile cognitive, functional, and behavioural changes
- To track carers’ coping and wellbeing directly related to their role as a carer over the same time period, and the relationship between these factors and changes in the participant
- To relate cognitive and behavioural changes to alterations in brain structure and function, as well as peripheral blood, genetic, and nutritional biomarkers
- To develop novel assessment tools to improve differentiation between neurodegenerative diagnoses and measurement of behavioural, cognitive, and functional aspects of disease progression
- To develop improved measures designed to better reflect the experience of carers which will direct novel carer interventions to support both people with neurodegeneration and their carers.
Research Design and Outputs
Participants are invited to a home screening visit, where a basic dementia examination is administered. Participants may then be invited to a TRACC appointment, at our research clinic based in Hammerton Court, Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT). Neuropsychological testing, clinical interviews, blood, stool, urine samples, and neuroimaging may be collected.
Families may then be invited to return to the TRACC clinic following 12 months, where all assessments are repeated.
The Research Team
Chief Investigator: Professor Michael Hornberger (UEA)
Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT): Kim Clipsham; Claire Rischmiller; Zoe Inman; Michelle Hagon-Powley; Louise McCarthy; and Dr Bonnie Teague
Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH): Dr David Dick and Dr Muhammad Rafiq
The TRACC Team
Norwich Medical School
Floor 2, Bob Champion Research and Education Building
James Watson Road
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park