Research

What we do

Working closely with a range of organisations, The Bay Dementia Hub has direct access to the valuable insights and experience of the public and professionals. We believe that sharing knowledge and participating in research can improve the lives of people living with dementia, family members and carers. It is this ‘intellectual capital’ that underpins everything we do!

Dementia and Old Age

Dementia is not a normal part of ageing. Dementia is the umbrella term for a collection of symptoms including memory loss, problems with cognition and language, leading to personality changes and eventually the loss of ability to carry out many tasks of everyday living. We may get more forgetful as we get older, however, with dementia there is a general and progressive deterioration in brain functions which interfere with a person’s ability to have a normal life. Dementia is caused by a number of different brain diseases. These include:

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Vascular dementia

  • Fronto-temporal dementia

  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies

If you are concerned that you or someone you know is experiencing some of the symptoms of dementia, you can come and chat to the professionals at The Hub.

Dr Penny Foulds and Matron Dianne Smith

Co-founders of The Bay Dementia Hub

Dementia Research in the UK

It is estimated that 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK in 2015. This represents 1 in every 79 people in the UK, and 7.1% of over 65’s. The total number of people with dementia in the UK is forecast to increase to over 1 million by 2025 and over 2 million by 2051 if age-specific prevalence remains stable.

 

There is a growing demand for new research about dementia, and a need to embed new knowledge from research into practice. To help people to keep up to-date with the latest research, The Bay Dementia Hub will provide a resource that shares the latest research and innovations about living with dementia.

(Dementia UK Report 2007 updated 2014).

MAC Clinical Research

MAC Clinical Research

MAC Clinical Research are an award winning healthcare organisation dedicated to developing new and improved treatments for a large range of medical conditions through clinical trials. With dementia research being now more vital than ever, MAC are actively recruiting for patients suffering with Alzheimer's disease. Every year thousands of people take part in clinical trials. Volunteers play the most important role in helping to find tomorrow's breakthrough medications. Without these participants there would be no advances in treatment options. Below is a video to demonstrate the experience of an Alzheimer's study as MAC. By taking part in a clinical trial you can make a real difference, and you can benefit in many different ways, To find out more about Alzheimer's research at MAC visit: www.researchforyou.co.uk/alzheimers-disease or call 0800 633 5507.

For those considering a career in clinical research, MAC's research job vacancies portal can be found at the following web address: www.clinicalresearchjobs.co/.

People often wonder what happens if they decide to take part in a research study. In the videos below is a chance to meet the people at MAC Clinical Research Centre in Blackpool.

Dementia Study opportunities at MAC Clinical Research

Study 1.  Mild Alzheimer’s Disease

Click Here

  • MAC Clinical Research are currently conducting a new trial researching a potential new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

  • The study length will be up to 3 years and 2 months and you will be required to attend the clinic up to 32 times in total.

  • Their GP will be kept fully informed throughout.

 

 

Study 2. Hallucinations and delusions in ANY form of dementia (eg Lewy Body Dementia, Alzheimer's)

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  • Typical treatment for these symptoms are antipsychotic medications, eg Risperidone, Olanzapine or Quetiapine that have a varying degree of effectiveness in reducing these distressing symptoms, reinforcing the need for a new treatment.

  • This drug is a new form of oral, antipsychotic medication (already approved for use within Parkinson’s disease psychosis)

  • Open to participants aged 50-90

  •  The study lasts up to 46 weeks with 15 visits to the clinic

  • Participants are compensated £1155 for their time and commitment

  • Travel expenses will be reimbursed or transport by taxi  provided

  • Their GP will be kept fully informed throughout.

 

Study 3. Agitation and aggression in Alzheimer’s

Click Here

  • Statistics show that around 80% of patients show signs of agitation and aggression with an increase in prevalence as the disease progresses.

  • The study lasts 16 week with 9 clinic visits and 2 phone calls from the doctor

  • Participants aged 50-90 with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s

  • No costs involved - travel expenses reimbursed or a taxi is provided

  • Their GP is informed throughout

Research

There is a growing demand for new research into dementia, and a need to embed new knowledge from research into practice. To help people keep up to date with  the latest research, The Dementia Hub will provide a resource that shared the latest research and innovations about living with dementia. The Hub's Core Group aim to embed research within The Dementia Hub. Through a collaboration with several agencies, including the Join Dementia Research initiativeLancaster University's Centre for Ageing Research, MAC Clinical Research and the Clinical Research Network. The Hub Core Group is driven by a commitment that innovative research should be focused on issues that are of most concern within the community. We hope this will improve the lives of people living with dementia and their carers. The Dementia Hub aims to bring research to the community and ember the concept of research within society.

Defying Dementia

Several years ago Lancaster Universty developed a drug that blocks the formation of 'senile plaques' found in the brains of victims of Alzheimer's disease/dementia. This drug blocks the assembly of these plaques, along with their toxic effect on brain cells. It is highly stable in the body and is tagged so it can cross the blood-brain barrier. The drug reduces the load of plaques present in cell models of the disease, along with reducing inflammation and oxidative damage.


Lancaster University was granted a patent for this technology, however the underlying lab work has reached the end of funding by Research Councils. Unfortunately, the drug does not yet have the high technology readiness level and low perceived risk demanded by the pharmaceutical industry.
 

Therefore, Defying Dementia are launching a crowd-funding campaign to raise money which will re-invigorate the stalled technology and ultimately get the drug into human clinical trials!

The Defying Dementia Day conference - Lancaster University,16 September 2017

When is poor memory a cause for concern?

 

Memory describes how the brain codes, stores and retrieves information;  something we do throughout our lives. If I asked you to think about memory, you might recall an important event – a wedding day or a favourite holiday. Remembering past events, like watching a video in your mind, uses episodic memory which is a type of long-term memory (LTM). Although this is possibly the most obvious use of memory, there are many other types which we use daily. Someone with excellent semantic memory (another type of LTM) will be a hero at the local pub quiz because this is the recall for facts without context such as capital cities and best-selling album titles.

Having a good short-term memory can be the difference in remembering the last digit of a date’s number until you have written it down or not forgetting to buy milk during the weekly shop. Memories help to make us the person we are and that’s why it can be so scary when we have problems with them.

Our minds, like our bodies, slow down as we age. For every decade over 40, the brain’s weight naturally reduces by 5% leading to changes in its structure and performance. These changes are not evenly spread and are most prominent in what is known as the prefrontal cortex. This front portion of the brain is involved in short-term memory and so a decline in our ability to remember is normal. In other words, as we get older it is natural to sometimes forget about appointments, to misplace or lose items and to occasionally struggle finding a word in a conversation. However, it’s not all bad news. Exercise, healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption and intellectual pursuits are all thought to slow the effects of age on memory.

There are other factors involved with lack of sleep, stress and other mental conditions are all possible contributors to problems with memory. Some people will decline more than is expected due to their age in what is known as Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). Although their symptoms do not seriously impact day to day living, they are more at risk of going on to develop dementia. MCI is often the result of an underlying illness, either physical or mental, treatment of which can improve the impairment.

So when is memory a cause for concern? Problems with recall should only be occasional. Regularly forgetting recent people, places and events or struggling to find words are not part of the normal ageing process. Being older should not cause someone to become confused while performing everyday tasks such as struggling with change when shopping. These might be the early signs of dementia.

Memory can decline naturally as you get older, but dementia is not a part of the normal ageing process. Dementia is a disease and with your help, it can be beaten.

 

Chris Moore

Occupational Therapist

MAC Clinical Research

Lancaster | 01253 444451

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