Current projects

1. Current projects and Centres of Excellence

Alzheimer's Society funds research into all forms of dementia. Our researchers are investigating a wide variety of areas related to dementia, whether it is the underlying causes of the condition, how to improve diagnosis, providing the best care or searching for a cure. 

We aim to spend £10 million a year on our research programme whilst ensuring that we fund only the highest-quality, most relevant research.  

Below you can read more about the various research projects that we are funding, and you can use the links above to find out more about the work of our fellows, PhD students and special grantholders.

Centres of Excellence

In June 2017 we announced our £5.6 million investment in the creation of three 'Centres of Excellence'. Each centre focuses on key priorities in dementia care research, including improving quality of life, improving support after a diagnosis and maintaining indepedendence at home.

Read more about these groundbreaking Centres. 

Vascular dementia grants

In 2017 we partnered with the British Heart Foundation and the Stroke Association to boost the amount of research into vascular dementia. The projects awarded represent a combined total of £2.2 million. 

 

Investigating who develops memory and thinking problems following a stroke and why

Lead Investigator: Professor Joanna Wardlaw

Institution: University of Edinburgh

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Vascular dementia; big data

 

Investigating how fluid is drained from the brain in vascular dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Roxana Carare 

Institution: University of Southampton

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Vascular dementia; cause 

 

Developing new ways to study and test treatments for small vessel disease in vascular dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Karen Horsburgh

Institution: University of Edinburgh

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Vascular dementia; cause 

 

Project grants

Understanding whether chemical DNA tags affect the immune system in the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Lead Investigator: Dr Katie Lunnon

Institution: University of Exeter

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; immune system; cause 

 

Understanding how small groups of proteins are toxic to brain cells

Lead Investigator: Professor Louise Serpell

Institution: University of Sussex

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; dementia with Lewy bodies; frontotemporal dementia; cause 

 


Understanding whether drugs for rheumatoid arthritis can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Lead Investigator: Dr Bernadette McGuinness

Institution: Queen's Univeristy Belfast

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Alzheimer's disease, drug discovery, immune system

 

Using medical records to diagnose dementia with Lewy bodies

Lead Investigator: Professor John O'Brien

Institution: University of Cambridge

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Dementia with Lewy bodies; diagnosis

 

Using particular speech patterns to spot early signs of dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Rosemary Varley

Institution: University College London

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Care; communication; diagnosis 

 

Investigating whether a particular type of amyloid protein is linked to Alzheimer’s disease development

Lead Investigator: Professor Johannes Attems

Institution: Newcastle University

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; cause 

 

Detecting changes in the brain in frontotemporal dementias

Lead Investigator: Professor Jason Warren

Institution: University College London

Grant awarded: 2016/2017

Themes: Frontotemporal dementia; diagnosis

 

Understanding the factors in mid-life that increase the risk of developing dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Craig Ritchie

Institution: University of Edinburgh/Imperial College London

Grant awarded: 2015/2016 (phase 2)

Themes: Prevention; risk 

 

Improving how we study tau in the brain

Lead Investigator: Dr Diane Hanger

Institution: Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; frontotemporal dementia; improving research

 

Understanding the role of high blood pressure in risk of dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Neil Pearce

Institution: London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Vascular dementia; Alzheimer's disease; risk

 

Finding out whether surgery to prevent stroke could also reduce the risk of vascular dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Allison Halliday

Institution: University of Oxford

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Vascular dementia; risk; prevention

 

Improving diagnosis and support services for people with younger onset dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Janet Carter

Institution: University College London

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Younger people with dementia; care; diagnosis; support 

 

Developing potential new treatments for Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Professor Frank Gunn-Moore

Institution: University of St Andrews

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Cure; Alzhiemer's disease; drug discovery

 

Understanding how the immune system contributes to Alzheimer's disease development

Lead Investigator: Professor Will Wood

Institution: University of Bristol

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; cause; immune system

 

Further investigating the role of blood flow to the brain and risk of dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Karen Horsburgh

Institution: University of Edinburgh 

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; vascular dementia

 

Investigating how connections between brain cells are lost in dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Tara Spires-Jones

Institution: University of Edinburgh

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Cause; brain cells  

 

Investigating a potential target for treatment of frontotemporal dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Christopher Miller

Institution: Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Frontotemporal dementia; cure; drug discovery; cell biology

 

Understanding how to use information from brain scans to improve trials into dementia prevention

Lead Investigator: Professor Nick Fox

Institution: University College London

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; brain scans; prevention 

 

Investigating heparins as a potential new drug for Alzheimer’s disease

Lead Investigator: Professor Jerry Turnbull

Institution: University of Liverpool

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; cure; drug discovery

 

Understanding the role of key genes in frontotemporal dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Kurt De Vos

Institution: University of Sheffield

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Frontotemporal dementia; genetics; cause 

 

Building a resource to better understand the genetics of dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Heny Houlden

Institution: University College London

Grant awarded: 2015/2016

Themes: Rarer forms of dementia; cause; genetics 

 

Developing a test to improve diagnosis of different forms of dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Mario Parra

Institution: Heriot-Watt University 

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Diagnosis; brain scans 

 

Investigating the relationship between diabetes and dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Stephen Wharton

Institution: University of Sheffield 

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Risk; prevention; diabetes; cause 

 

Investigating the biological role of the Alzheimer's disease risk gene APOE

Lead Investigator: Professor Seth Love

Institution: University of Bristol

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Alzheimer's; genetics; risk; cause 

 

Identifying factors that lead to problems with everyday tasks for people with dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Eneida Mioshi

Institution: University of East Anglia

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Care; daily living; independence at home

Investigating the effectiveness and acceptability of GPS technology for people with dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Ruth Bartlett

Institution: University of Southampton

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Care; walking about; assistive technology 

 

Developing brain measuring methods to detect early dementia signs

Lead Investigator: Professor Bettina Platt

Institution: University of Aberdeen

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Diagnosis; cause 

 

"Am I the right way up?" - Investigating balance problems in posterior cortical atrophy

Lead Investigator: Dr Sebastian Crutch

Institution: University College London

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Posterior cortical atrophy; symptoms

 

Investigating whether changes to chemical DNA tags contribute to Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Dr Katie Lunnon

Institution: University of Exeter

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; genetics; epigenetics;cause

 

A clinical trial to test potential treatments for a major cause of vascular dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Joanna Wardlaw

Institution: University of Edinburgh

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; cure; drug discovery 

 

Testing the effect of the diabetes drug Liraglutide in Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Dr Paul Edison

Institution: Imperial College London

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; cure; drug discovery

 

Developing a method to measure the quality of life in family carers of people with dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Sube Banerjee

Institution: University of Sussex

Grant awarded: 2014/2015

Themes: Care; carer support 

 

Is damage to white matter always caused by problems with blood flow?

Lead Investigator: Professor Johannes Attems

Institution: Newcastle University

Grant awarded: 2013/2014

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; vascular dementia; brain scans

 

Does zinc deficiency lead to faster decline in Alzheimer's disease?

Lead Investigator: Dr Catherine Lawrence

Institution: University of Manchester

Grant awarded: 2013/2014

Themes: Alzheimer's; cause

 

Investigating a way to protect nerve cells in Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Dr John Boyle

Institution: University of Leeds

Grant awarded: 2013/2014

Themes: Alzheimer's; cause; brain cells 

 

Investigating the links between anticholinergic drugs and benzodiazepines and risk of dementia

Lead investigator: Dr George Savva

Institution: University of East Anglia

Grant awarded: 2013/2014

Themes: Risk; care; public health


Understanding more about the changes in brain cells during frontotemporal dementia

Lead Investigator: Dr Sean Sweeney

Institution: University of York

Grant awarded: 2013/2014

Themes: Frontotemporal dementia; cause; brain cells; cell biology

 

Chronic stress as a risk factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Professor Clive Holmes

Institution: University of Southampton

Grant awarded: 2011/2012

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; cause; risk; stress

 

Testing the effect of the diabetes drug Liraglutide in Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Professor Paul Edison

Institution: Imperial College London

Grant awarded: 2011/2012

Themes: Alzheimer's disease; drug discovery; clinical trial; diabetes

 

 

Bringing vascular dementia to the forefront of research

Lead Investigator: Professor Patrick Kehoe

Institution: University of Bristol

Grant awarded: 2010/2011

Themes: Vascular dementia; diagnosis

 

Identifying factors that lead to problems with everyday tasks for people with dementia

Lead Investigator: Eneida Mioshi

Institution: University of East Anglia

Themes: disability; dementia 
 

Enabling people with dementia to access and understand assistive technology

Lead Investigator: Dr Lisa Newton

Institution: University of Newcastle

Themes: Memory services; assisted technology 

 

Investigating a rheumatoid arthritis drug as a potential treatment for Alzheimer's disease

Lead Investigator: Professor Clive Holmes

Institution: University of Southampton

Themes: Immune system; infection; memory decline, drug trial

 

Understanding the factors in mid-life that increase the risk of developing dementia

Lead Investigator: Professor Craig W Ritchie

Institution: Imperial College London

Themes: Prevention; pathology, mid-life, dementia

 

Understanding what makes good dementia friendly initiatives in health care

Lead Investigator: Professor Claire Goodman

Institution: University of Hertfordshire

Themes: Dementia-friendly environments, health care services