Dementia Research Centre at UCL

The work of the Dementia Research Centre at University College London focuses on identifying and understanding the disease processes that cause dementia.  They use their research to find ways to improve the diagnosis and treatment of dementia, and to determine how best to support people with dementia and their families.  Running in parallel with the Dementia Research Centre is the Cognitive Disorders Service.  Together, these clinical and research components form a national centre of excellence for diagnosing and treating patients with cognitive problems, and the group is recognised internationally for ground-breaking research in dementia. 

Research

The Dementia Research Centre runs clinical trials to develop and test medicines that may slow the progression of diseases causing dementia, or even prevent the onset of symptoms. 

The Centre also carries out ‘non-drug’ research studies with people with dementia, involving different types of assessments such as questionnaires, psychological tests, blood tests, measurement of eye movements and muscle activity, and MRI scanning of the brain.  These studies are designed to help understand not only how dementia can affect an individual’s memory but other functions as well, such as language, perception, spatial navigation, emotion and social awareness.

The Centre is also involved in long term studies tracking individuals from childhood, collecting information on their lifestyle, health, cognitive and physical measurements over time.  This helps to identify the social and biological factors which affect health, ageing, and the development of chronic disease. Being able to predict who might be at risk of developing dementia is critical, because it enables the Centre to design clinical trials aimed at preventing the onset of the disease.

Read more here about The Dementia Research Centre’s research projects… 

Services

The Dementia Research Centre operates a number of support services for people with dementia and their families and carers.

The Counselling and Diagnosis in Dementia service (CANDID) offers information about the statutory and voluntary services available to people with dementia, as well as advice on how to access information on legal and financial matters. 

The Centre’s world-leading Rare Dementia Support service combines social, emotional, and practical support with research and training about rare, genetic and young-onset dementias. The service supports people affected by 7 of the rare dementias – familial Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, familial frontotemporal dementia, posterior cortical atrophy, primary progressive aphasia, Lewy body dementia, and young-onset Alzheimer’s disease.