Manchester researchers exceed PM’s national dementia target

The Government’s ambition to find a cure for dementia by 2025 has been boosted by a dramatic rise in people volunteering to take part in ground-breaking research studies.

The NIHR / Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of a number of organisations – collectively known as the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) – responsible for exceeding the dementia target in Greater Manchester.

During the past 12 months almost 22,000 people nationally have taken part in research studies to tackle the condition – a 60 per cent rise – according to figures published today by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

The boost in participation was in part triggered by the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia, launched in March 2012. The Challenge also included the aspiration to have 10% of all people with dementia participating in research by 2020. Greater Manchester has exceeded this target, 12% of people with dementia into studies – a total of 2,301 people. This is facilitated through MAHSC’s Mental Health domain.

Leo and his wife Pat engaged in a trial of an experimental treatment for Alzheimer’s disease at the NIHR / Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCRF).

Learn more about Leo’s and Pat’s experiences of research.

Leo and Pat, research study, Alzheimer’s disease, Manchester CRF

Professor Alistair Burns, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at The University of Manchester, explained that closer relationships between MAHSC partners have been key to Greater Manchester’s success in dementia research.

“The extraordinary increase in recruitment to dementia trials in Greater Manchester is significantly linked to the cross-organisational working brought about by MAHSC,” he said.

Professor Burns, who is also Honorary Consultant Old Age Psychiatrist at Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust and National Clinical Director for Mental Health in Older People and Dementia at NHS England, added.

Through our partnership, we have connected eligible patients with world-leading researchers, healthcare professionals, and cutting-edge technology, which has improved our capacity to perform dementia research in Manchester.

The research was delivered by The University of Manchester, MMHSCT, Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT), Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (SRFT) and the Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

It was supported by the CRN: Greater Manchester, which encompasses all 13 NHS Trusts within the Greater Manchester region, the NIHR / Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility at CMFT, the Barnes Clinical Research Facility at SRFT and the Wolfson Molecular Imaging Centre.

If you would like to help us beat dementia, either as a person living with dementia or as a healthy volunteer, go to the Join Dementia Research website to register your interest and help Greater Manchester lead the way for better treatment, and a better life, for millions of sufferers across the world.