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Trust's Clinical Trials Unit opens its doors to the public for Dementia Awareness Week

10 May 2017

As part of Dementia Awareness Week (14 – 20 May) and to mark International Clinical Trials Day (Saturday 20 May), West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s Clinical Trials Facility at Lakeside Mental Health Unit will open its doors to the public, offering a glimpse inside the unit and showcasing the use of virtual reality technology in research studies.

On the day, the trust’s Clinical Research Fellow Dr Matthew Appleby will lead a presentation on physical health in relation to memory and cognition, and registered dietitians from the trust are holding a ‘Dietician’s Corner’ advising on how healthy diet and lifestyle changes can support anyone with memory impairments.

Using virtual reality technology attendees will need to orientate themselves as they navigate a virtual reality supermarket which tests visual and spacial skills, and a ‘Four Mountains’ task will ask them to distinguish between a series of virtual mountain landscapes. In addition, there will be opportunities to find out about clinical research projects and trials related to dementia at the trust, including how to get involved.

Representatives from Join Dementia Research will also be on site to inform visitors how they can sign up to the online registry, which matches participants to suitable studies.

Carolyn Regan, Chief Executive of West London Mental Health NHS Trust, said: “We pride ourselves on the quality of our treatments and outcomes for patients, but also on our research into mental health.

“We have some of the UK’s leading clinicians working in psychiatry and other fields of mental health, such as occupational therapy, and are proud that their work is contributing to understanding conditions like dementia and to raising awareness during Dementia Awareness Week.”

Rebecca Douch, Assistant Psychologist in the Cognitive Impairment and Dementia Service at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, said: “We are very excited to mark Dementia Awareness Week and International Clinical Trials Day through our open day, and hope that by opening our doors to the public we can highlight the vital role of research and clinical trials within mental health care.

“It is going to be a very informative and fun day, and is a great opportunity for members of the local community to find out more about how they can help.”

Earlier this year, the trust’s Clinical Trials Facility became the first site in the UK to include a patient on a study investigating a new medication aiming to treat Dementia with Lewy Body (DLB). Lewy body dementia is estimated to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK and causes visual hallucinations, fluctuations in levels of attention or alertness, and can result in depression and alterations in behaviour or personality.

Led by Professor Craig Ritchie, the study aimed to test the safety and effectiveness of a drug for treating DLB. Participants have been recruited from the UK, United States and other European countries.

This event is open to all and takes place on Friday 19 May, 1pm – 5pm, at the Lakeside Mental Health Unit in West Middlesex Hospital. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day. For more information call 020 8483 1834.

WLMHT contact details:

Martha Salhotra (Communications Officer)
020 8354 8747
Follow us on Twitter @WLMHT

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