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GM_NI Gray Matters Study

Principal Investigator: 

Dr Shuai Zhang

Name of the Study:

GM_NI: The Gray Matters Study in Northern Ireland: Reducing the risk of developing  Alzheimer’s disease through promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Why is this Study important?: 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is recognised as a global health concern, however, there is currently no cure and research is now focussing on identifying modifiable risk factors and prevention methods. Almost two thirds of the risk of developing AD can be attributed to lifestyle choices and environment.

What is the Research aim?: 

The success of the pilot study will serve as an evidence-base to facilitate the development of a large-scale longitudinal all-Ireland study on the evaluation of the scalability, sustainability and effectiveness of behavioural interventions using a smartphone.

Objective one: Update scientifically-backed fact and suggestion repository within Gray Matters solution for the Northern Ireland population.

Objective two: Evaluation of the protocol for trial on multivariate behaviour intervention for AD using a smartphone app.

Objective three: Analysis of the impact of the intervention on the onset and progression of AD and health in general.

What the Study involves: 

Participants in the trial will be recruited for a period of 12 weeks and will be provided with a bespoke “Gray Matters” mobile phone app to facilitate behaviour change.

Data collection: Data will be collected from all subjects at 0 and 12 weeks.  The primary outcome measures will include a set of blood pressure, body mass index, chemistry and lipid profiles, C-reactive protein, glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin, objective cognitive testing and behaviour in targeted domains.  Secondary outcome measures will include metacognition, motivation, readiness for change and sleep quality etc.

Who can take part in the Study?:

Participants aged 40-65.

Contact Information:

Dr Shuai Zhang

Computer Science Research Institute

Ulster University

Jordanstown campus

Room 16J04

Shore Road


County Antrim,

BT37 0QB      




Phone: 028 903 66367









NI Clinical Research Facility,
U Floor, Belfast City Hospital,
Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB

Tel:+44 (0)28 9504 0342

Connect to the NICRF