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The PROTECT study is open to volunteers aged 50 and over. It will last at least 25 years.

Dr Anne Corbett describes the PROTECT studya large, online platform for research to help people live healthier lives in older age.

PROTECT Study: Research to support healthy ageing and reduce dementia risk


What is the PROTECT Study?

The PROTECT Study is an exciting new approach to ageing research. It aims to understand how the brain ages and how we might reduce the risk of dementia and mental health issues in later life.

PROTECT harnesses the power of online technology, collecting data from thousands of people over 40 through a dedicated website. This data allows our researchers to analyse what factors affect how our brain ages, including our genes, lifestyles and medical history.

PROTECT also provides an online platform to conduct research into new treatments to reduce the risk of dementia.

PROTECT is a collaborative project between the University of Exeter and King’s College London.

Visit the PROTECT study website

PROTECT is a 25 year study in people over 40. Participants provide information about themselves and complete online assessments to measure their brain function. By repeating these assessments each year we monitor how they change over time. Participants also provide a sample of their DNA through a simple at-home kit to allow us to conduct cutting-edge genetic studies.
Participants also take part in exciting affiliated studies into brain health and ageing.

Some of the studies already underway through the PROTECT platform include:
• VitaMIND: A clinical trial of Vitamin D supplementation in people at risk of dementia
• COGNIFIT: A clinical trial of a beetroot dietary supplement to investigate its impact on oral microbiome and cognition
• START: A clinical trial of online brain training games in healthy older adults
• Nested data collection studies to explore the role of cognition in key medical issues including autism, Covid-19 and brain injury
• Over 60 collaborative projects that are using PROTECT data to conduct research into healthy ageing and cognition

PROTECT has collated a database of cognitive and health data in 25,000 older adults since its launch in 2014. Data is available for use via a Data Access Request process. To find out more email the PROTECT study team.

PROTECT - primary investigators

Dr Anne Corbett Chief Investigator Dementia, dementia reduction, drug discovery, clinical trials, care home research, clinical trial delivery, online research, translational research, patient and public involvement
Professor Clive Ballard Co-investigator and Clinical Lead Dementia, antipsychotic medications, non-pharmacological interventions, cognitive health, neuropsychiatric symptoms, dementia care, clinical trials
Dr Byron Creese Co-investigator and Genetics Lead Dementia, neurodegenerative disease, neuropsychiatric symptoms, genomics
Helen Brooker Co-investigator and Cognitive Testing Lead Dementia, cognitive health, ageing, digital research, cognitive testing

PROTECT Research Team

Ellie Pickering Project Manager
Megan Richards Project Coordinator
Kelly Hodge Project Administrator
Abbie Palmer Data Manager
Adam Bloomfield Lead Developer
Ben Wood Senior Developer
Steve Lewis Senior Developer
Tony Fearn Junior Developer
Freya Bateman Project Administrator
Sarah Laidler  VitaMIND Administrator