WalesmapJoin Dementia Research launches in Wales today.

Mark Drakeford, Welsh Minister for Health and Social Services made the announcement during a visit to the Wales Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) in Bangor.

Professor Drakeford said:

“Welsh universities and health boards are collaborating in world-class dementia research and I hope that by working with people living with dementia and other volunteers, we can gain a better understanding of this condition.

“Join Dementia Research is great step forward as we work to make Wales a more dementia-friendly nation. I want to encourage people to consider volunteering for this important work”

Dementia currently affects 850,000 people in the UK and over 45,000 of those are from Wales. Join Dementia Research will boost research participation by connecting people interested in research to suitable dementia studies across Wales and other parts of the UK, as well as streamlining the recruitment process for researchers.

Bangor University’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC), has been leading the way on facilitating the rollout of Join Dementia Research across Wales. Professor Bob Woods, Director at the centre explains:

“Join Dementia Research is a brilliant way of bringing together people who are interested in taking part in research with the outstanding research teams we have in Wales. Our projects on understanding dementia and improving dementia care are already benefitting from the service in England, so we are sure it will make a big difference in Wales too.”

One of the studies recruiting for volunteers in Wales is called AD Genetics, which is looking into how certain genes affect the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease, particularly young-onset. Volunteers who are recruited to the study will be visited by a nurse and asked to complete a short interview and memory test.

Professor Julie Williams, from Cardiff University, is conducting this research and using Join Dementia Research to recruit volunteers. She said:

“Our research over the last 20 years has been made possible by thousands of people volunteering to be part of our international studies.  With this help we have identified over 20 genes that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and have given us ideas for new therapies to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease.  If we had had access to a resource like Join Dementia Research we could have done our research in half the time.  This will make an enormous difference to the success of future studies focusing on understanding the causes and providing treatments for early onset dementia.  I applaud all those involved in setting up this venture.”

Chris Roberts, 54 from Rhuddlan in North Wales, is living with dementia. He said:

“After a diagnosis of dementia your whole family also receive the diagnosis, it’s a team effort. What we then need is hope; this is what research gives us. That’s why it’s so important for people to be aware and to know that research is taking place. As well as the people living with dementia we also need people with healthy brains. Together we can make a difference, please be a part of my team, and join dementia research.”

two-people-discussing-V02Not joined Join Dementia Research yet? Why not sign up today?