Frequently Asked Questions
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the way our blood naturally clots can affect the health of the blood vessels around the body and in the brain, and how this relates to our cognitive function in older life.
This research study will investigate these relationships. One of our goals is to see if there are substances in the blood that can help to identify and protect individuals at risk of developing brain health problems in later life.
You are eligible to take part in this study if you are over 50 years of age.
You are NOT eligible to take part in this study if you have any of the following:
- Any clinically diagnosed psychiatric or neurological conditions (e.g. schizophrenia, depression, autism, etc)
- Diagnosed cardiovascular disease, diabetes, liver disease, or hypertension
- Diagnosed bleeding disorder (e.g. platelet function defects, haemophilia)
- Any metal implanted in your body
- Currently take anticoagulant or antiplatelet medication (e.g. clopidigrel, ticagrelor, warfarin, rivoroxaban)
- Suffer from claustrophobia (the brain scanner is an enclosed space)
If you choose to participate you will need to sign a consent form. After signing the consent form you are still free to withdraw from the study at any time. You will not need to give a reason why, and it will not affect your relationship with the University of Reading or any of the researchers involved in the study.
You will receive £40 for your time and contribution to the research.
- Obtain an image of your brain
- Obtain information about your body and health
- Experience what it is like to participate in a laboratory testing environment
- Contribute to scientific research into body and brain health as we age
- Contribute to the training of student researchers who are collaborating on the study
Participation in this research will have no direct health benefits for you. None of the tests or procedures in the study can be used for the purposes of diagnosing or managing illness.
- Blood vessel function test – Redness or itching
During this technique, a weak electrical current will deliver drugs to your skin blood vessels. This non-invasive technique is safe, but sometimes causes brief redness or itching which will go away within 20–30 minutes after the procedure.
- Blood sample – bruising
There is a chance (about 1 in 50) that venous blood sampling may leave a bruise on your arm. The risk of this will be minimised because the researcher taking your blood will be trained and experienced.
Rare (less than 1% chance)
- Brain scan – breathing higher-than-normal levels of carbon dioxide
This can result in short-term and mild side effects. These include nausea, flushing, hyperventilation (breathing faster than normal), anxiety, sensory stimulation, and feelings of panic. To reduce these risks, trained staff will monitor you for these symptoms before, during, and after this test, and will stop the test if you begin to experience any of these symptoms.
- Brain scan – claustrophobia
The MRI scanner is a confined space, and it is possible you may suffer psychological stress, anxiety, or claustrophobia. The risk is expected to be 1 in 200 (0.5%). If you know you suffer from claustrophobia we will not complete an MRI scan on you. Whilst you are in the scanner, we will provide you with a panic button which you can press to stop the scan at any time. There is more information about what it is like to have an MRI scan in the MRI Participant Information Sheet which you have received alongside this information.
- Withdraw your consent, for example if you opted in to be added to a participant register
- Access your personal data or ask for a copy
- Rectify inaccuracies in personal data that we hold about you
- Be forgotten, that is your details to be removed from systems that we use to process your personal data
- Restrict uses of your data
- Object to uses of your data, for example retention after you have withdrawn from a study
Some restrictions apply to the above rights where data is collected and used for research purposes. You can find out more about your rights on the website of the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) at https://ico.org.uk
Your personal data and consent form will be kept for 5 years before being destroyed.You also have a right to complain the ICO if you are unhappy with how your data has been handled. Please contact the University Data Protection Officer in the first instance.
Research at the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN) investigates the dynamical interactions that bring about human thought and behaviour – from the fast neural timescale of a few milliseconds, to the slow timescale of life-span development.
The Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research (ICMR) is a multidisciplinary centre that brings together scientists from a wide range of research fields to work to understand the development of cardiovascular diseases, and the underlying obesity-related metabolic diseases from which they develop. Visit the ICMR website here.
This study has been reviewed by the University of Reading University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) and given a favourable opinion for conduct.
If new information becomes available that might influence your decision to be in the study you will be provided a new Participant Information Sheet explain it, and if you still want to take part you will be asked to sign a new consent form.