Calls for new dementia research volunteers on fifth birthday    

24 February 2020

The ground-breaking Join Dementia Research service celebrates its fifth birthday today.

Dementia is now the UK’s leading cause of death. With 850,000 people living with dementia, research into earlier diagnosis and potential treatments is more important than ever.

Join Dementia Research is vital in making this research happen. Since 2015, more than 45,000 people from across the UK have registered with the service, which matches volunteers with researchers looking for people to take part in their studies.

There has been significant success: as of February 2020, dementia studies have filled over 25,000 study places using the register – 27,807 in total.

This includes drug studies, such as the ENGAGE study investigating whether Aducanumab may help slow Alzheimer’s disease. Online studies like the Lifebrain Global Brain Health survey, has already found more than 4,000 UK participants since opening on Join Dementia Research in January 2020, and is still looking for more people.

These are just two successes of Join Dementia Research. The service is delivered by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer Scotland.

But with over a million people forecast to have dementia by 2025, researchers need even more volunteers to join their studies.

To mark their 5th anniversary, Join Dementia Research has launched a birthday card campaign. All this week, they are asking people to send a card to someone they know who might be interested in research.

To send a card, you can:

Professor Martin Rossor – NIHR National Director for Dementia Research, said:
“I am very proud to see Join Dementia Research celebrate its 5th birthday. Although still young, it has already had a lot of success – making it easier for people to take part in research. The majority of the 27,807 study participants would not have had the opportunity to engage in research if it wasn’t for Join Dementia Research. I am very grateful to all those who have registered so far.

“However we cannot rest on this success. If we want to continue to make a difference, beyond our 6th, 7th, or even 10th birthdays, we need more people to get involved. That’s why we’re asking everyone to tell at least one other person about the opportunity to take part in research. The more people who register with Join Dementia Research, the faster we can make a difference to the lives of everyone affected by dementia.”

Ian Wilson, Chief Executive Officer from Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Alzheimer’s Research UK is pleased to support Join Dementia Research, and it’s fantastic to see the service reach its fifth birthday.

“Volunteers both with and without dementia play an essential role in helping researchers to understand the causes of disease like Alzheimer’s and driving improvements in diagnosis, treatment and risk reduction. We would like to thank all those who’ve given their valuable time to take part in dementia research.

“While this birthday is an important milestone, we still have work to do. With new studies being added to Join Dementia Research every week, there are always opportunities for new participants and we encourage anyone over the age of 18 living in the UK to register to take part.”