Dr John-Paul Taylor is a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellow at the Institute for Ageing, which forms part of the University of Newcastle. His research is centred on Lewy body dementia, a very common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, and his studies are recruiting through Join dementia research.

“I’m currently involved in two research studies which are focussed on Lewy body dementia, and both of which look at visual hallucinations (More information about the VEEG_Stim Study). This is a very common symptom in the illness and it can be very distressing for the people with the Lewy body dementia, as well as their family.

This form of dementia leads to different changes in the brain compared to Alzheimer’s disease so the research involves brain scans which are non-invasive, as well as a technique called high density electroencephalography which allows the research team to image the part of the brain which may be involved in these hallucinogenic effects.”

Dr Taylor explains that there are many different types of research study.

“Non-interventional studies allow researchers to draw observational results. These do not involve taking a new medication or a new agent.

There are also other studies where we are looking at treatments that are used in the NHS – but whilst we think they work, we don’t actually have any real hard evidence to support this and therefore sometimes need to do studies to prove whether these treatments really work or not.

‘Having a nationwide  service, such as ‘Join dementia research’ is extremely valuable as it makes it far easier for people to participate in research particularly those with rarer forms of dementia for example.

It can be challenging to find people who are able or willing to take part in research.

And, of course, we’re not just looking for people with certain forms of a condition or illness.

Patients who register who have another form of dementia like, for example, Alzheimer’s disease are incredibly important to us because researchers need people to act as controls for a study and the results could help inform not just Lewy body dementia but, hopefully, Alzheimer’s disease as well”

JDR_cmykHave you taken part in a study?

We are really interested in hearing from people taking part in studies on ‘Join dementia research’. What would they say to others considering signing up with ‘Join dementia research’?

Please let us know if you, or someone you know, would be interested in sharing their story. Get in touch with us at comms.jdr@nihr.ac.uk.

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