NWORTH Clinical Trials Unit Welcomes Government announcement on Dementia Research Funding Increase

Following the recent announcement by David Cameron, NWORTH Bangor University’s Clinical Trials Unit welcomes the news that UK funding for Dementia research is set to double to £66M by 2015.
With nationally recognized expertise in the development and delivery of studies testing interventions to improve quality of life for people with dementia and their carers, Bangor University is well placed to deliver research which aims to tackle this ‘national crisis’.

Commenting on the announcement, Rhiannon Whitaker, NWORTH Associate Director (Scientific) said “An enhancement in the level of funding for Dementia research is excellent news for those working in the field and far more importantly for people with dementia and their carers, both paid and unpaid. ”

Dementia is a major research theme of the unit, led by Prof Bob Woods, a clinical psychologist whose research on dementia care is internationally acclaimed. He commented “The increase in research funding is very welcome, but the investment still lags way behind funding for cancer research, especially when the costs to society of the dementias are taken into account.”

NWORTH are currently key research partners and co-investigators on a number of dementia related research grants and programmes.  They have strong collaborations with UK charities such as Age Concern, Alzheimer’s Society and academic institutions including UCL, the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings’ College London and the University of Hull together with Health Boards across the UK.

During the past 5 years, NWORTH have developed and collaborate on a strong portfolio of major pragmatic multi-centred Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) and programme grants. This research addresses questions such as:
•    how best to manage challenging behaviour in dementia at home and in care homes
•    how to enhance life with dementia by providing support at home,
•    how to intervene to improve mental health and reduce use of antipsychotic medication amongst people with dementia in care homes.

They also address questions about non drug based treatments such as; does individual Cognitive Stimulation Therapy for dementia or reminiscence group based therapy work?  Working with Prof Linda Clare, from the School of Psychology, they have also investigated more theoretical issues such as whether bilingualism is a protective factor in delaying the development of age-related cognitive impairment and the understanding of awareness in people with very advanced dementia. 

Publication date: 27 March 2012