Getting involved in research

Volunteers, both with and without dementia, who take part in research studies or clinical trials play an essential role in helping scientists and doctors to understand dementia and test potential new treatments.

Clinical Research Networks are in place across the UK and can help you to get involved in dementia research in your area.

Join Dementia Research

Join Dementia Research is a national service that allows you to register your interest in taking part in dementia research studies across the UK. It is funded by the National Institute of Health Research in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Scotland.

To find out more, visit or call the Dementia Research Infoline on 0300 111 5 111.

Other ways to get involved

As well as looking for volunteers to take part in studies, scientists also need volunteers to provide input on how best to design and carry out their research. This is called patient public involvement, or PPI. You can read more about why PPI is so important here.

People in Research is a database listing research projects and organisations that are looking for members of the public to get involved in their work. This could include advising on ethics, peer reviewing research proposals, assisting with studies and more. Visit or contact them on 02380 651088.

Brain donation

Alzheimer’s Research UK, in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, with generous service support costs from the MRC, is funding a network of brain bank centres across England and Wales called Brains for Dementia Research. Donated brain tissue is vital for scientific research into dementia and Brains for Dementia Research allows more people to get involved with brain donation and help in the fight to defeat dementia.

This pioneering initiative is more than a simple organ donation scheme, as donors are assessed every one or two years with memory and thinking tasks. This means donors are not only leaving a generous gift after their death but also providing important information about their symptoms and behaviour during later life. Scientists can put this information together to build a bigger picture of what is happening in the brain both during normal ageing and dementia. This will help them to develop new ways to beat the condition.

Brains for Dementia Research is reaching capacity for new donors in many areas, but for more details contact Gillian Hayes on 0207 8488377, email or visit the website at