Animals in research policy

We support research using animals where necessary but they are only used when there is absolutely no alternative, and their use is strictly regulated by the Home Office.

About animal research

To develop new treatments their effects need to be seen in a whole living system. Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to test the effects of new drugs in a test tube or on a computer, because we can’t see effects on the brain, or for example, memory.

Research using animals has produced some of the most important findings to date and made real progress in the fight against dementia. The current dementia treatments are available because of animal research. The most common animals that are used in dementia research are fruit flies and rodents.

Our policy

We support research using animals where necessary. Experiments that involve animals are an important part of medical research. Animals are only used when there is absolutely no alternative, and their use is strictly regulated by the Home Office.

We fund research that offers the greatest hope in defeating dementia. Find out more about how we award money for research or download our booklet for more information. We are a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities. More information on animals in research can be found on its website.

In 2014, Alzheimer’s Research UK joined over 80 other charities, funders and institutions in signing the Concordat on Openness on Animal Research. This code of practice was designed to help increase transparency around the use of animals in research, to enable more informed dialogue about the benefits and limitations of this area of research. We are pleased to be working to meet the Commitments set out in the Concordat and you can read the first annual report of the Concordat here.

How can I support dementia research, but not projects that use animals?

We can restrict any donation to non-animal research projects on request. You simply need to let us know when making a donation.