LONDON, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- The University of Oxford announced Monday that a landmark study would be launched to identify the biomarkers present in the early stage of Alzheimer's disease, in a bid to improve the success rate of clinical trials for treatments.
In the early stage of the Alzheimer's disease, a person may have no obvious symptoms, which makes it very difficult for diagnosis and treatment. The new study led by researchers from the University of Oxford will target the measurable characteristics, known as biomarkers, which can detect the occurrence of disease very early on.
The Deep and Frequent Phenotyping study will recruit 250 volunteers and tests will be carried out over the course of 12 months. Some of the participants will be at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease while others will not be deemed at risk, according to the university.
During the tests, wearable devices will be used so that researchers can have detailed information on people's movement and gait, and sophisticated retinal imaging.
"If we can identify the biomarkers present in this very early stage, we have the chance of treating the disease earlier, which is vital if we are to prevent damage to people's memory and thinking," said Simon Lovestone, lead researcher and a professor at the University of Oxford.
The potential new biomarkers will allow the researchers to recognize the early stages of Alzheimer's disease and those who may be suitable for trials of possible treatments, according to the university.