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There is a major need for early identification of those at risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, the most common cause of dementia in our society. Work from our group and others has highlighted the potential for images of the inside of the eye to provide evidence of the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease before other clinical signs are visible.

People with Down syndrome are the largest patient group whose condition is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. We have a longstanding interest in understanding and improving vision in people with Down syndrome.

This project will use cutting-edge technology to image the eye in people with Down syndrome and older people at risk of Alzheimer's Disease.  We will also ask to take saliva, tear and blood samples. This will enable us to investigate the presence of inflammatory and Alzheimer’s Disease markers and determine if there is a link between these and changes in eye structures. These new insights could lead to more accessible, non-invasive ways to monitor Alzheimer's Disease from the earliest possible stage.

We have been funded by Alzheimer's Society and are working jointly with Dr Imre Lengyel at Queen's University on this exciting project.

Over the next 3 years, we will be recruiting:

People with Down syndrome, aged 6-50 years, people aged 50-80 years who do not have Down syndrome, and people diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment, aged 50-80 years.

We will invite people to visit the Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility, at the Belfast City Hospital and supply travel costs.

If you would like to find out more about the study or are interested in taking part, please contact Dr Aoife Hunter at or +44 28 7012 3416 (full contact details below).

For updates on the study, please follow us on Twitter: @REVEAL_Study