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Trust’s researchers lead in dementia research

19 Jun 2014

West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s researchers are leading the way in helping develop treatments for individuals living with dementia.

Yesterday (18 June), the Prime Minister, David Cameron, made a commitment to find new treatments that could prevent the onset of dementia.  Mr Cameron’s pledge came on the same day of the launch of the UK Dementias Research Platform – the development of which has been supported by the trust’s researchers.

UKDP pulls together ongoing studies across the UK to provide a research population approaching nearly two million people.

Clinicians and academics at West London Mental Health NHS Trust’s Research and Development department are actively involved in finding new techniques to help those patients and carers living with the condition.  They have been actively supporting a number of dementia research studies – trialling new medication and recruiting local participants who are willing to become involved in this pioneering work.  These studies include:

Prevent – is funded by the Alzheimer’s society and it aims to determine whether we can identify biological changes in mid-life which may be associated with the risk of developing dementia.

Tommorrow – a research programme to determine whether we can identify individuals who are at higher risk of developing memory problems due to Alzheimer’s disease in the next five years. It also aims to test a medication to see if it can delay the on set of memory problems.

We are also running several studies which trial new medication for those with very early memory problems, those with both moderate and severe dementia.

Dr Craig Ritchie, the trust’s director of research and development, is on the UKDP steering committee.  He said: “This really is a game changer in dementia research and will be a phenomenal resource to answer the big questions. It will enable the research community to move seamlessly between different levels of data, which simply could not happen if we worked in our own separate research groups and areas.

“By involving major players in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, the platform will accelerate discovery of new treatments and interventions and allow the UK to take a leading role in the design and delivery of programmes to stop the progression of dementia.”

Dr Ritchie added: “Here at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, we are committed to finding new ways of treating dementia and other ways in which we can delay the onset of dementia.”  If you’re interested in supporting a research study, please visit our website at wlmht.nhs.uk/research/contact-rd/ or email danielle.wilson@wlmht.nhs.uk or telephone 020 8483 1823.

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