The MiND Study: a simple blood test to improve diagnosis and care of dementia and other illnesses

The Markers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders Study is an Australia-wide research study by The Royal Melbourne Hospital and The University of Melbourne, trying to develop a routinely available blood test to diagnose (or rule out) dementia and other illnesses quickly and accurately, and transform the care for all people with symptoms and illnesses of the mind and brain. Can you help us?

Cognitive or psychiatric symptoms (e.g. changes in your memory, thinking, mood, personality or behaviour), noticed by you, your family, or your doctor?

Or, are you generally healthy?

Willing to have a simple blood test, that you can do close to home?

You may be able to help us, and make an extremely valuable contribution to research.

If you are eligible, more detailed information will be provided to you, and a member of the study team will call you to discuss the Study and answer any questions you may have, before you decide whether or not to take part in the Study. You can change your mind any time and for any reason, and can ask us to delete all the information you provide.

A recent ABC 7:30 report featured The MiND Study, patient and family stories. You can read more by clicking here, and watch the report by clicking here.

Thank you for your interest in The Markers in Neuropsychiatric Disorders Study (The MiND Study), and potentially participating and helping us with our ultimate aim: a simple, widely available blood test to improve early and accurate diagnosis of dementia, and other neurological and psychiatric disease. Many people go through years of multiple assessments and investigations, misdiagnosis, conflicting opinions, uncertainty, and delay. There is a great need for routine, simple blood tests, which could dramatically improve diagnosis and care, and improve outcomes, for so many people, their families, and healthcare systems.

Our findings so far are very promising, that measuring certain proteins or “biomarkers” in a simple blood test, could very quickly determine what type of illness is going on, and improve early and accurate diagnosis of dementia and other conditions. Our hope is that our research will lead to a simple blood test that could dramatically improve assessment and care for people in the future, and be widely available to everyone, all across Australia.

The MiND Study is led by Professor Dennis Velakoulis and Dr Dhamidhu Eratne, and Neuropsychiatry, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and The University of Melbourne, Australia, working with a growing list of fantastic national and international collaborators. Please read some of the information below, and here, and feel free to explore the rest of the website.

We can’t do research studies like this and develop new tests to help people in the future, without help and support, and generosity, now. We need all the help we can get from people with symptoms, and people without symptoms. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Thank you again for your time and interest, we are very grateful.

Here is a brief summary of The MiND Study:

  • Very simply, we are trying to understand how measuring research proteins of brain cell function (especially one called neurofilament light, or ‘NfL’), in people with cognitive/neurological/psychiatric symptoms, and without symptoms, can help with understanding the cause of symptoms, and reduce delay to diagnosis and improve outcomes for people in the future
  • Participation is simple. The main thing is doing a simple blood test (that can be done close to home) to analyse for NfL and store for future research biomarkers, and allowing research study doctors to get relevant clinical information from you and your treating doctor to help interpret your blood test levels accurately. There are some optional simple questionnaires and another optional blood test about 1-2 years later
  • Although your NfL levels won’t come back to you or help you right now, you will be making a valuable contribution to science, and we hope that our Study will benefit people in the future
  • The risks are low: the same low risks with having a standard clinical blood test
  • We aim to collect 60mL of blood (you have plenty, approx. 4L of blood), so as to have enough of this valuable resource to analyse for NfL and for future research biomarkers
  • Participation is completely voluntary, doesn’t affect your clinical care whether you participate or not, and you can change your mind and withdraw at any time, without consequence
  • All your information and samples are kept strictly confidential and secure, only used for research purposes, and pooled with data from others (so you will never be identified in any research or other publications)