Action to Promote Brain Health in Adults (ATHENA) Research Study

Research Centre: The George Institute for Global Health
Location: This research study will be conducted virtually within New South Wales (NSW)
Lead Researcher: Craig Anderson, MD, PhD
Ethics Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved by the Ethics Review Committee (RPAH Zone) of the Sydney Local Health District

About the Study

Dementia and conditions that affect brain function have become increasingly common. In Australia, about 250 people are newly diagnosed with dementia each day. High blood pressure damages the brain’s blood vessels, which may increase the risk of getting dementia. Currently, there are no available medications to treat dementia. The best option is the early prevention of those at increased risk of the condition. A modifiable risk factor that can prevent cognitive decline is controlling blood pressure. 

Researchers want to find out if running a blood pressure and cognitive study without the need for face-to-face contact is feasible. This research study aims to test the effectiveness of a new blood pressure medication to prevent memory problems like dementia. This virtual research study seeks adults who believe that their memory or thinking skills are not as good as they were in the past and have slightly raised blood pressure. If successful this study will be implemented on a larger scale.

Why Participate? 

  • Participants may receive a potential new blood pressure medication that may preserve memory and thinking skills as well as help control blood pressure. 
  • Participants may experience improvements to their blood pressure readings.
  • Participants may contribute valuable information that may benefit others in the future.
  • Participants will be provided the study-related tests at no cost. 
  • Participants will be helping to advance medical, specifically cardiovascular, research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

  • Adults must be between 50 to 70 years old.
  • Must be experiencing lapses in their memory or thinking skills.
  • Must have a slightly raised blood pressure reading of 120-135 over 80-85 mmHg.
  • Must have any of the following risk factors: diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, current smoker, a relative with dementia.
  • Must be able to commit to this virtual 6-week research study as well as its study requirements. 
  • Must be willing to take the new potential medication as instructed by the study team and monitor blood pressure.  

Key Study Details 

  • Participation involves 3 phone calls ranging from 10-45 minutes, 4 video conference calls using Zoom (which will take about 45 minutes), answering questionnaires and performing simple tests of memory.  
  • Participants will be sent a blood pressure machine and will be required to measure their own blood pressure. It is important that this device will not be used by any other members of the participant’s household during this study.
  • Participation may include downloading blood pressure readings using an app. This app will be downloaded to the participant’s personal smartphone or tablet, the study staff will help set this up. However, this is completely voluntary.
    • This app collects information from the blood pressure machine and provides an easy-to-use dashboard for viewing recent readings and tracking progress.
  • Participation involves a blood test to be done at the participant’s local pathology laboratory.  

About the Research Centre:

 

 

 

The George Institute for Global Health 

The George Institute is a leading independent global medical research institute established and headquartered in Sydney, with additional major centres in China, India and the UK and an international network of experts and collaborators. Their mission is to improve the health of millions of people worldwide, particularly those living in disadvantaged circumstances, by challenging the status quo and using innovative approaches to prevent and treat non-communicable diseases and injury.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study