No Location
Effects of the Mediterranean diet and physical activity on brain function in UK adults
Overview

An opportunity to take part in a study exploring the potential benefits of the Mediterranean diet and physical activity on brain function.

  • Research Participant
  • Participate

Aim

MedEx-UK is a study exploring the potential beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet and physical activity on brain function in UK adults.

This study is funded by Alzheimer's Research UK and the results will help inform strategies to reduce dementia risk in the UK. 

Volunteer Criteria

You must be aged between 55 and 74 years old to take part. 

You must not have a diagnosis of dementia but may be at risk of developing it in later life (as identified through cardiovascular health risk factors). 

The research team are targeting these specific participants as they feel they may represent an ideal population in which dietary and other lifestyle interventions could be particularly effective at reducing dementia risk. 

Potential participants are asked to complete an online screening questionnaire, after which we may wish to ask you further question via telephone to confirm your eligibility to take part. The screening questionnaire can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/medex-uk  

Unfortunately, you will not be able to take part if you:

  • Have COPD, HIV, epilepsy or any previous history of cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, TIA) or cancer
  • Have a clinical diagnosis of liver or kidney disease
  • Have a serious mental illness
  • Suffer from moderate to severe anxiety or depression
  • Have suffered a significant head trauma
  • Have a BMI over 40kg/m2
  • Are currently engaged in a weight loss or exercise programme
  • Have any medical conditions (to be determined by the researchers) that may affect the study outcome
  • Take certain medications (to be determined by the researchers) that may affect the study outcome
  • Are not suitable to take part in this study because of your screening results
  • Are already taking part in another research study

As this trial requires you to make changes to your diet and physical activity levels you would need to be prepared to try to make these changes throughout the trial period.  

What will I be asked to do?

You will be allocated in to one of three study groups for a 24 week period, during which you will be encouraged to make changes to your diet and activity levels. The groups are:

Group 1 - Mediterranean diet group:  Volunteers will be given support and advice to consume a more Mediterranean-type diet.

Group 2 - Mediterranean and physical activity group: Volunteers will be given support and advice to consume a more Mediterranean-type diet and become more physically active. 

Group 3 - Control group: Volunteers will be provided with current NHS advice for eating better and becoming more active.

The general requirements for participants will include: 

  • Completing an online screening questionnaire to evaluate suitability to take part in the study (0.5 hours) (Link above or click here to complete)
  • Completing an on-site screening visit at Newcastle University (1.5 hours)
  • Attending two on-site measurement mornings at Newcastle University, where we will carry out measures of cardiovascular health and cognitive (brain) function (3 hours each)
  • Undergoing two MRI scans at Newcastle University (1 hour each)
  • Reporting food intake at several points in the study using an online software (0.5 hours each)
  • Attending up to four group sessions at Newcastle University, which will provide support and advice on eating better and becoming more active (2 hours each)

When and where?

This study will take place at Newcastle University between June 2019 and April 2020. 

Appointments will be arranged between the researchers and participants.

Will I get anything for taking part?

Mediterranean diet (group 1) and Mediterranean diet plus physical activity (group 2):

Participants will receive £30 per week in shopping vouchers for the online food retailer Abel & Cole for 24 weeks to help cover the costs associated with making dietary changes as part of the study. We will also cover general expenses associated with the study, such as travel costs for data collection visits.  

Control group (group 3):

Participants will receive £10 per week in vouchers for John Lewis or Marks & Spencer for 24 weeks upon completion of the study. We will also cover general expenses associated with the study, such as travel costs for data collection visits.  

Location

  • Newcastle University
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • NE1 7RU

Effects of the Mediterranean diet and physical activity on brain function in UK adults Discussion

Login / Register to take part in this discussion.

  • Ian Fairclough
    3rd June 2019

    Two years ago the "Mediterranean Diet" was flavour of the month at the Inst. of Ageing & the University. I remember a lot of VOICENorth members were involved in the various studies.

    MedEx-UK is a commercial company, surely they should be able to access some of this research in the normal way?

    Dr. Oliver M Shannon
    4th June 2019

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks very much for the message. The study is being run by Newcastle University alongside colleagues in Norwich and Birmingham, and is funded by the charity Alzheimer's Research UK, not a commercial company. To clarify, MedEx-UK is just an acronym for Mediterranean diet and Exercise in the UK. We are in no way affiliated with any commercial company of the same name.

    The Mediterranean diet continues to be a key area of interest in nutrition research, given its potential beneficial effects on a range of different health conditions. We hope to build upon the existing research by conducting the first large-scale, UK-based randomised controlled trial looking at the role of this diet for brain health. Our findings could have important implications for developing nutritional strategies to help with healthy brain ageing.

    Thanks again for your comment.

    Oliver

    Dr. Oliver Shannon

    Human Nutrition Research Centre

    Newcastle University

    Ian Fairclough
    4th June 2019

    Hello,

    Thank you for that clarification.

    I think you may have an identity crisis - I got the assumption of this being a commercial company from Googling "MedEx-UK" and it took me to: http://www.medexuk.co.uk/

  • Anne Shaw
    3rd June 2019

    Survey monkies won’t load page 2

    Dr. Oliver M Shannon
    4th June 2019

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for the message. I've checked and the page now seems to be working.

    Many thanks,

    Oliver

    Sue Dean
    23rd September 2019

    Hello. I can't get past the physical activity page on the survey. It insists I haven't entered a reply despite having done so!

    Thanks

    Sue

Loading...