Over 6,000 sign up to Join Dementia Research

1000Over 6,000 people have now signed up to Join Dementia Research to register their interest in volunteering for dementia research studies; and now over 1,000 of them have been enrolled into research.

One of the studies that has recruited the most people is a ten-year study for healthy people over 50 called PROTECT, being run through King’s College London. Volunteers are asked to complete online memory and thinking tests and provide an annual DNA sample to allow researchers to study brain ageing and risk factors for dementia.

There are now 39 different studies looking for volunteers.

The people behind Join Dementia Research are calling for greater awareness of the initiative, and urging more people to consider signing up, especially encouraging more people with early memory problems to do so. Many of the studies are looking for people in the early stages of dementia or those with mild cognitive impairment who are experiencing memory and thinking problems not yet severe enough to be diagnosed as dementia.

Prof Martin Rossor, the NIHR National Director for Dementia Research, said:

“The fantastic response we’ve seen to Join Dementia Research so far is indicative of the importance of dementia and research to the wider public. With 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia, there is a collective agreement that more needs to be done, that research plays an important part in that progress and that the public are willing to donate their time to come together to make it happen.

“We need to maintain momentum to reach our aspiration for 100,000 people to sign up to Join Dementia Research. We still have a long way to go to spread the word about Join Dementia Research to people with dementia and their families living in towns and cities in every corner of the UK and make sure everyone knows that the opportunity is available to them.”

Dr Elizabeth Coulthard, a dementia researcher at the University of Bristol, is using Join Dementia Research to recruit volunteers with dementia for the ‘Hippocampal changes in early Alzheimer’s Jpegdisease’ brain imaging study.

She said: “People with dementia who are willing to volunteer for studies are the life-blood of our research and are absolutely crucial if we are to keep making progress. We’re looking for people with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia as well as people with early memory problems and healthy volunteers for our study.

We’re asking volunteers to take a 30min MRI brain scan and do a memory test to help us develop better brain scanning techniques to detect the disease earlier. The more we can spread the word about Join Dementia Research the more everyone – researchers and people with dementia – will be able to benefit.”

IMG_0026Hilary Doxford, who has dementia and was one of the first people to sign up to Join Dementia Research said:

“Without a cure we are reliant on research to find that cure or ways to help us live better with dementia for longer. Research cannot happen without people with dementia but it has been hard for researchers to find us and for us to find out about research opportunities and what it may involve. Join Dementia Research provides information and volunteering opportunities for research, which has given me something very positive to focus on.

The involvement of people with dementia today will hopefully help not just us but so many in the future. I really would encourage anyone who has, or knows someone with, dementia to have a discussion about research and consider signing up to Join Dementia Research. It could be a positive step in your life too.”


Martin-In-GardenWhy not join the over 6000 people who are now part of Join Dementia Research? Please sign up today on International Clinical Trials Day 2015!

Could you be eligible for any of the 39 studies on Join Dementia Research? Sign up today and find out.