Nottingham scientists from the city's two universities are joining forces in the hope of developing a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's disease.
Funded by the Alzheimer's Research Trust, the £200,000 study will look at whether "biomarkers", such as a certain protein or molecule, can identify someone with the condition.
Professor Kevin Morgan of the University of Nottingham's School of Molecular Medical Sciences said: "A reliable, accurate test to identify affected individuals would mean future treatments could be given much earlier when drugs are likely to be most effective."
It would also give those with dementia and their families more time to prepare for the future by considering options such as care homes, he added.
The Alzheimer's Research Trust hopes the study will lead to a breakthrough in the diagnosis of Alzheimer's.
Chief executive Rebecca Wood commented that funding for research into the devastating diseases is "desperately" needed.
This week research published in the journal Neurology revealed that vitamin B12 could help protect against dementia.
Carried out by Oxford University, the study could have implications for dementia care, the Healthier Life reported.
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