Published on 18/01/2024
A man having an eye test
  • Aston Research Centre for Health in Ageing (ARCHA) will host four PhD students to start in October 2024
  • The PhD students will work on the Aston Brain Health Cohort Study (ABaHCoS): Detection of dementia risk to support independent living
  • Funding will come from the Dunhill Medical Trust and Aston University College of Health and Life Sciences

The Aston Research Centre for Health in Ageing (ARCHA) at Aston University has received £400,000 in funding to recruit four PhD students for a dementia research programme.

Four students will work on the Aston Brain Health Cohort Study (ABaHCoS), which will research tests for the early detection of dementia before symptoms become apparent. Two of the students will be funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust and two will be funded by the College of Health and Life Sciences at Aston University. Recruitment will begin in January 2024 and it is expected that the PhD students will start in October 2024.

The students will work to develop simple tests that can be administered as part of an eye test, hearing test, GP health screening visit or even in the home. These methods will span psychology, neuroscience, biology, and medicine bringing a multifaceted approach to the detection of dementia.

New treatments are becoming available for dementia, but they work by slowing progression of the disease and are therefore most effective when used early. By detecting the disease before symptoms become apparent, individuals will be able to adopt beneficial lifestyle changes, while health providers will be able to identify individuals for follow-up monitoring and treatment.

The ABaHCoS project will sit within ARCHA, the mission of which is to is to understand, predict, prevent and treat age-related degeneration and disease. The Centre has a specific focus on health, metabolism, the mind, and medicines in the context of the biology, psychology, and clinical aspects of ageing. Its cross-disciplinary team of researchers specialise in biology, psychology, medicine, pharmacy and allied health sciences.

Professor Andrew Schofield, Director of ARCHA, said:

“Having a group of four students studying different aspects of dementia diagnosis at the same time makes this multidisciplinary project really exciting. The students and their supervisors will work as a team, exchanging ideas and creating new avenues for research.”

For more information about ARCHA, visit the webpage.

Notes to editors

About Aston University

For over a century, Aston University’s enduring purpose has been to make our world a better place through education, research and innovation, by enabling our students to succeed in work and life, and by supporting our communities to thrive economically, socially and culturally.

Aston University’s history has been intertwined with the history of Birmingham, a remarkable city that once was the heartland of the Industrial Revolution and the manufacturing powerhouse of the world.

Born out of the First Industrial Revolution, Aston University has a proud and distinct heritage dating back to our formation as the School of Metallurgy in 1875, the first UK College of Technology in 1951, gaining university status by Royal Charter in 1966, and becoming the Guardian University of the Year in 2020.

Building on our outstanding past, we are now defining our place and role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (and beyond) within a rapidly changing world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Helen Tunnicliffe, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44) 7827 090240 or email:

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