Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Prospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Dementia is an umbrella term used to refer to a wide range of symptoms linked to with a reduction in memory and/or other thinking skills which reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Inflammation is generally a beneficial response to tissue damage or infection. However, when inflammation is extensive or prolonged this can damage healthy tissues and disrupt normal cellular function. Research suggests that acute illnesses or injury causing inflammation can accelerate dementia. However there are few studies which examine underlying mechanisms of how this happens in humans. This study aims to address this gap. The study will compare markers of inflammation and injury found in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (fluid which bathes the spinal cord (CSF)) of people with and without confirmed dementia who fracture their fracture. A hip fracture is a common example of an acute injury causing an inflammatory response. People who fracture their hip will undergo an operation to repair it. A common procedure during this operation is the giving of spinal aesthetic. This involves inserting a needle into the patient’s spinal space and injecting anaesthesia into CSF. This means CSF can be collected before operation via the same needle.

Who can participate?
Patients due to have a hip fracture operation via spinal anaesthesia with all levels of pre-operative confusion.

What does the study involve?
Patients are allocated to one of three groups after their operation: those with confirmed dementia (as obtained from patient’s GP notes/hospital records and/or carer insight), non-dementia (no evidence of dementia found in patent’s GP notes/medical records) groupings; and pre-operatively confused but without confirmed dementia. Consent is gained for the storage of surplus samples in a bio-bank to help future studies. Pre-operative blood and CSF samples, post-operative blood samples and a short cognitive questionnaire is administered to all patients.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
For patients and their families there are no direct benefits taking part. However it is hoped that the research may help similar patient groups in the future. Postdural-puncture headaches (PDPH) are a common side-effect of spinal anaesthesia. The collection of CSF may slightly increase the chance of PDPH.

Where is the study run from?
1. Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (UK)
2. Leicester Royal Infirmary (UK)
3. Royal Sussex County Hospital (UK)
4. Princess Royal University Hospital (UK)
5. Royal Derby Hospital (UK)

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
November 2016 to February 2018

Who is funding the study?
Alzheimer’s Research UK (UK)

Who is the main contact?
Dr Simon Hammond

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Simon Hammond


Contact details

Norwich Medical School
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
United Kingdom
+44 1603 591460

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

ASCRIBED: The impact of Acute SystematiC inflammation upon cerebRospinal fluId and blood BiomarkErs of brain inflammation and injury in Dementia: a study in acute hip fracture patients



Study hypothesis

The aim of this study is to evaluate whether hip fracture patients with dementia show elevated markers of systemic inflammation and of brain inflammation in comparison to stable patients with dementia and hip fracture patients without dementia, as measured by biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and blood.

Ethics approval

Not provided at time of registration

Study design

Observational case-control study

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Case-control study

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet


Dementia patients admitted to acute hospital settings with a hip fracture.


Participants due to have a hip fracture operation via spinal anaesthesia with all levels of pre-operative confusion (as assessed by clinical screening procedures, AMTS (England) and 4AT (Scotland)) will be approached and recruited. Capacity will be assessed and consent or consultee agreement gained. During pre-operative procedures a blood sample will be taken and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) collected.

48 hours post-operatively patients will be approached to undertake a short cognitive test and have a second blood sample collected. A suitable informant will also be sought to complete a proxy measure about the patient’s memory and thinking. At 1 month post-operatively patient's GP and medical records will be accessed to search for evidence of dementia. Patients also taking part in ASCRIBED’s sister study PERFECTED (ISRCTN99336264) will be asked to give blood samples at 1, 3 and 6 months post-operatively.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measures

CSF inflammation and injury is measured by TNF-α, IL-1RA, IL-1β, IL-6 and Neurogranin, tTau, Synaptotagmin, SNAP-25 at baseline.

Secondary outcome measures

Magnitude of the brain inflammation is measured by brain injury markers (phospho-Tau, NFL, neurogranin, synaptotagmin, SNAP-25) in CSF at baseline.

1. Higher levels of inflammatory and brain injury markers in CSF and blood are associated with worsening cognitive and functional decline measured by MMSE at 6 months post-operatively
2. Cytokines ratio CSF:blood pre-op time will show higher ratios in dementia than non-dementia patients measures in blood and CSF at baseline

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned


Participant inclusion criteria

Group 1: Pre-operative acute hip fracture patients with confusion as defined by the Abbreviated Mental Test (England) or 4AT (Scotland):
Inclusion Criteria:
1. Patient must have had a confirmed proximal hip fracture requiring an operation and be aged 60 or older at the time of operation
2. Patient has a pre-operative Abbreviated Mental Test score of 8 or below or 4AT score of 1 or above
3. Patient must be undergoing spinal anaesthesia

Group 2: Pre-operative acute hip fracture patients without confusion as defined by the Abbreviated Mental Test (England) or 4AT (Scotland):
Inclusion Criteria:
1. Patient must have had a confirmed proximal hip fracture requiring an operation and be aged 60 or older at the time of operation
2. Pre-operative Abbreviated Mental Test score of 9 or above or 4AT score of 0
3. Patient must be undergoing spinal anaesthesia

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants


Participant exclusion criteria

Group 1 and 2:
1. Decision taken not to have hip surgery
2. Patient has head trauma with bleeding as indicated by a CT scan
3. Patient has confirmed diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease
4. Patient not expected to survive beyond 4 weeks

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh
51 Little France Crescent
EH16 4SA
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Leicester Royal Infirmary
Infirmary Square
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Royal Sussex County Hospital
Eastern Road
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Princess Royal University Hospital
Farnborough Common
United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

Royal Derby Hospital
Uttoxeter Road
DE22 3NE
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


University of East Anglia

Sponsor details

University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
United Kingdom
+44 1603 591460

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Alzheimer’s Research UK

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

private sector organisation

Funding Body Subtype

other non-profit


United Kingdom

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication in a high-impact peer reviewed journal.

IPD sharing statement:
The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are/will be available upon request from Prof Chris Fox, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom.

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

Available on request

Results - basic reporting

Publication summary

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

23/10/2017: Internal review.