Global Health

Researchers have been studying the same people for 76 years – this is what they found out about Alzheimer’s disease

We have learnt more about Alzheimer's disease over the years. Image: Robina Weermeijer/Unsplash

Marcus Richards

Professor of Psychology in Epidemiology, UCL

Jonathan M Schott

Professor of Neurology, UCL

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Dr James Douglas. National Child Development Study Alzheimer’s disease Dementia working of brain
Dr James Douglas was responsible for establishing the National Child Development Study in 1946, information from which enables us to glean new understandings about health – including the workings of the brain and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Image: wikimedia/ncbi
Maternity in Great Britain Alzheimer’s disease dementia human brain
Maternity in Great Britain, published in 1947 by the Oxford University Press. Image: UCL archives
An extract from the 1946 maternity survey questionnaires.
A few questions for mothers from the 1946 maternity survey questionnaires. Image: UCL archives
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A birthday card sent to cohort members in 1978. Alzheimer’s disease dementia
Happy Birthday from the National Survey. Image: UCL archives

PET scans can be used both to visualise and quantify abnormal protein deposition within the living brain, which are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease.
PET scans can be used both to visualise and quantify abnormal protein deposition within the living brain, which are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease. Image: Marcus Richards

MRI scans from patients with rare genetic forms of Alzheimer’s disease showed excess brain shrinkage occurred before symptoms started.
MRI scans from patients with rare genetic forms of Alzheimer’s disease showed excess brain shrinkage occurred before symptoms started. Image: Marcus Richards

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Global HealthHealthcare DeliveryMental HealthNeuroscience

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