RAndomised trial to imProve the quality of lIfe of people with Dementia (RAPID)

Project Details

Depressive symptoms are common and undermine the quality of life of people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Cholinesterase inhibitors and antidepressants have all but no effect on the mood of patients, and their use is associated with greater risk of adverse events compared with placebo. The use of traditional psychotherapeutic interventions, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, is hindered by the presence of cognitive impairment.

Cognitive bias modification (CBM) is a novel, simple and safe intervention that targets attentional and interpretative biases associated with anxiety, dysphoria and depression. CBM operates through implicit learning systems, which are spared until late in the course of the dementia illness. Pilot data from Western Australia Centre for Healthy Ageing indicates that the use of CBM is feasible and, most likely, an efficacious treatment for people with depression in AD (DAD). Moreover, CBM is safe and unlikely to be associated with significant adverse events in this vulnerable population.

RAPID is a parallel, double-blind, controlled randomised trial. RAPID aims to examine the presence of attention and interpretation biases in people experiencing Alzheimer's disease, and investigate if the use of CBM for two weeks is associated with a reduction of depressive symptoms and/or improved quality of life.  It is hoped that the RAPID trial will provide high quality evidence of efficacy in this important clinical area.



  • Professor Osvaldo Almeida (Principal Researcher),

Research Group

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry, Ageing

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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