FAQ: General Questions

What will the study achieve?

The study will provide valuable information about how the brain changes with age. It will also investigate which factors in mid-life affect our risk of dementia, such as exercise and diet. This knowledge will help develop better approaches to prevent and treat dementia in the future.

How long will the study last?

Participants will be invited to complete a series of assessments online which will be repeated annually over the next ten years.

Can I opt out of the study?

Yes, once registered you can opt out of the study at any time by selecting the Withdraw from Study option from the My Account section of your dashboard. You will be able to choose whether your personal data that identifies you is deleted permanently. If you permanently delete your data and wish to continue the study after opting out, you will need to re-register and re-enter any data previously submitted.

My question isn't included here - who else can I ask?

You can find details of the PROTECT study within the participant information sheet and informant information sheet but if you still have questions, you are welcome to contact us using the details on the Contact Us page.

FAQ: IT Support

Is my browser compatible?

PROTECT works with all the latest popular browsers including Chrome, Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox and Safari. If you experience difficulties with screen appearance or game behaviour we recommend you check for updates and upgrade to the latest browser version. The browser version can usually be checked using Help->About from your browser menu.

Interactive games and exercises are not compatible with Internet Explorer 9 or earlier versions. In this case we recommend you update to version 10 or higher or install one of the other browsers listed above.

Do I need to enable any particular browser settings?

PROTECT generally works without any problems using standard default browser settings. If you experience problems please check your browser settings, the following options must be enabled:

  • Cookies
  • JavaScript
  • SSL or TLS

These can typically be enabled using the Settings or Internet Options menu options in your browser. Please refer to your browser documentation or help if you cannot find these.

Can I use a mobile device (phone or tablet)?

Mobile devices can be used to browse the site, complete assessments and play the interactive games. Because of the limited screen width of some mobile phone devices some of the interactive assessments or exercises may not appear correctly.

Why haven’t I received an email I am expecting?

Please allow up to 24 hours for the email to arrive. If it hasn’t arrived, please check the following:

  • Check the email is not in your junk folder (mark the email as “not junk” to prevent this happening in future – this is usually done by right-clicking on the email in the email list and selecting Unblock, but it will depend on the email reader being used).
  • Make sure our email address (support.protect@exeter.ac.uk) is in your contacts list.
  • Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may have a spam filter in place which is blocking our email domain. Please contact your ISP if you suspect this is the case and give them our email address (support.protect@exeter.ac.uk). They can usually add an exception rule to the spam filter.
  • If you are not fully registered and none of the above steps have resolved the problem, please contact us using the details on the Contact Us page.

FAQ: Using your account

I've forgotten my username or password

If you have forgotten your password, please select the Forgot your password? link on the sign-in page and we will send you an email with a link to allow you to reset it.

Your username is the email address you used when you registered. We would have sent an email to this address to confirm your email address when you first registered. This email also included a Registration ID number. If you kept a note of your Registration ID number, contact us using the details on the Contact Us page and we will be able to use your Registration ID number to look up the email address you used to register with us.

My user account has been locked, how can I unlock it?

For security reasons your account will be locked after 3 consecutive failed sign-in attempts. If this happens please wait for at least an hour when you can try again or contact our Help Desk who will be able to unlock the account for you.

How do I change my password?

To change your password please sign-in and select Reset Password from the My Account section of your dashboard.

I have changed my email address; how do I tell you?

To continue receiving our emails please sign-in using your old email address and select Change email address from the My Account section of your dashboard and provide us with the new email address. You will be sent an email to confirm your new email address. You can then sign-in using your new email address as your username.

I have a new home address; how do I tell you?

It is important we have your up-to-date address when sending out DNA sample kits. To update your address please sign-in and select Change address from the My Account section of your dashboard and provide us with the new address.

FAQ: Completing your assessments

I’m going away and can’t complete and assessment before the due date

If you cannot complete your assessments by their due date, we will record a missing data point for the current round of assessments and the assessment will become available in the next round of assessments if it is a recurring assessment.

The assessments become available when you begin the cognitive tests each year so if you are going to be away, you can wait until you return to begin.

What happens if I miss the due date for an assessment?

We would prefer you to complete assessments by their due date or as soon as possible after this, but don’t worry if you can’t, many assessments will still be available for six months. In the meantime, you may receive automated email reminders.

What happens if I’m unable to repeat an assessment when requested?

We would prefer you to complete all repetitions within the available time window as this will give us more accurate data, but don’t worry if you can’t, any data you have submitted is still very valuable to us.

I didn’t finish an assessment and now it won’t let me restart

Some assessments don’t allow you to restart if already started or the time window for completing has expired. If you don’t think your time window has expired, please try again leaving at least 24 hours before retrying. If you cannot restart the assessment any data already provided will have been saved and will still be useful.

Can I retake an assessment?

Once an assessment has been submitted it cannot be retaken. Please review your answers carefully before submitting. For certain assessments you may be given the opportunity to retake it if you have registered a low score, this will appear as a prompt immediately after submission.

FAQ: Playing brain training games

When I start a game, the screen appears blank

We endeavour to make the games compatible with as wide a range of browsers as possible, if the game doesn’t start please check the answer to Is my browser compatible? in this FAQ. If this doesn’t solve your problem, please close all other browser windows and applications on your device and try again. Also, please check that JavaScript is not disabled in your browser settings.

A game freezes in the middle of playing

This is probably a memory or performance issue with your device. Please close all other browser windows and applications on your device and try again. Also check your browser is compatible (see Is my browser compatible? in this FAQ).

If the problem continues please contact us using the details on the Contact Us page.

I don’t understand the game instructions

We have tried to provide clear written instructions for the games. There is also a short, animated clip which appears when the game is selected, usually after a short pause, which demonstrates how to play. You can view the instructions again by clicking on the button with the question mark. If you are still unsure, please contact us using the details on the Contact Us page.

FAQ: Informants

What is an informant?

An informant is someone we may ask to complete one or more simple assessments about you, for example how well you perform various tasks now compared to ten years ago. You must have known the informant well for at least ten years, for example a friend or family member, and they must be age 18 or over.

You will be asked to provide the name and email address of a person who can act as your informant during registration or you can add these details later. We will invite them to confirm they are willing to act as your informant and if so, they will register for their own study account. An informant will not be able to view or access any other information you provide as part of the study nor will you be able to view or access any information provided by the informant.

Please note that an informant may already be a participant in the study or can choose to become a participant if they meet the qualifying criteria.

I’m not able to find a suitable informant, is that a problem?

Nominating an informant is an optional part of the study; if you’re not able to nominate an informant, we would still like you to take part as all other assessment data you provide is still very valuable to us.

Can I change or remove my informant?

To change or remove your informant, please sign-in and select Change Informant from the My Studies > PROTECT Study Participant section of the dashboard and then follow the instructions.