Our achievements

Alzheimer's Society funds cutting-edge research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of dementia. Since 1990 we have invested £50 million pounds and funded over 200 research projects. Here are some of our highlights:

Annual Research Review 2016-17

This review highlights the impact of our research programme, with a focus on the financial year 2016-17. Download it now.

Tripling our investment in research

During our last five year strategy, we were able to increase our annual investment in dementia research from £2 million in 2012 to £10 million in 2017.

Founding partner of the UK Dementia Research Institute

In 2016 we joined forces with the Medical Research Council and Alzheimer's Research UK to become a founding funder of the UK's first dedicated Dementia Research Institute worth a combined investment of £250 million. Visit the UK DRI website

Research Conference 2016

On 29-30 June researchers presented their latest findings at our Research Conference 2015. Read more about the conference

Doctoral Training Centres

In 2015 we launched eight Doctoral Training Centres across the UK to develop the next generation of Dementia Research Leaders. Representing a total commitment of £5 million, these centres are supporting 52 new PhD students and Clinical fellows to train in dementia research. Find out what each centre is researching.

Research Conference 2015

The Research Conference 2015 took place in Manchester. Read more about the conference

Dementia Research Leaders programme launched

In 2014 we launched our Dementia Research Leaders programme to attract, develop and retain the brightest minds to work in dementia research. Since then we have been able to triple the number of early career researchers we can support each year which has given a huge boost to the size and strength of the UK dementia research community. Explore the programme.

Dementia research made a priority at G8 summit 

Dementia, and particularly research, was the topic of a G8 summit held in London in December 2013. The countries involved made commitments for more research into the condition, with a pledge to develop a 'disease-modifying drug' by 2025.

Clinical trial for vascular dementia funded

In partnership with the British Heart Foundation, and as part of our Drug Discovery programme, we have funded a clinical trial into a treatment for vascular dementia. If successful, this could be the first treatment for people with this form of dementia. 

Liraglutide project now a large £5 million trial

Alzheimer's Society funded a project that aimed to run a pilot trial into the use of a type 2 diabetes drug to treat early-stage Alzheimer's disease. The researcher has since raised much more for the project, and the liraglutide trial is now a £5.7 million full scale phase 2 clinical trial. This trial is part of our Drug Discovery programme.

Alzheimer's Society Research Conference 2013

At the end of June Alzheimer's Society hosted the annual Research Conference 2013 in south London. It was the biggest research conference yet and featured interesting talks, discussions and workshops.

Brains for Dementia Research receives funding for future

Alzheimer's Society, in partnership with Alzheimer's Research UK, committed to funding the Brains for Dementia Research programme for another five years.

Twenty years of impact from our Research programme

We have published a summary of the impact that our Research programme has had to date in our Dementia Research Impact Report 1990-2012.

Alzheimer's Society partner on £14 million of goverment-funded research

The government have announced a boost to dementia research of £22 million, invested in 21 projects. We previously contributed to the writing of high-quality applications for this funding in a workshop, and Alzheimer's Society are partners, supporting researchers with Public and Patient Involvement and dissemination, on 9 of these grants, receiving £14 million of the investment between them.

Research project provides evidence for benefit of longer Alzheimer's drug treatment

A project part-funded by Alzheimer's Society, called the DOMINO-AD project,  has found that people in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease may benefit from the continued prescription of the most common drug treatment, donepezil. Donepezil is currently only licensed for prescription to people in the mild to moderate stages of the condition.

Research a priority for Alzheimer's Society in our new five year Strategy

Alzheimer's Society has launched its five year strategy for the 2012-2017 period, Delivering on Dementia, and Research is one of the four key priority areas. The Strategy commits to increasing our Research budget to £10 million by 2017, which represents a more than trebling of our pre-strategy budget.

Alzheimer's Society host a symposium at ICAD 2011

Alzheimer's Society has secured an evening symposium at this year's International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease (ICAD) in Paris in July. The symposium will discuss alternative approaches to the management of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia, including presentations of trials of new therapies and techniques. The symposium is an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of this important topic.

Drug Discovery programme launched

Alzheimer's Society has successfully launched its innovative new Drug Discovery programme. The programme aims to develop new treatments for Alzheimer's disease from existing drugs that are currently licensed for other uses. It is hoped that this exciting programme could see new, more effective treatments developed within 5-10 years.

Supporting the NIHR dementia-themed call for research

The National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) is calling for dementia-themed research funding applications. Alzheimer's Society hosted a workshop to bring together our Research Network volunteers and potential researchers, with the aim of supporting high quality research applications. In total, the Society will work in partnership to support 40 research applications submitted to the NIHR, and is playing a key role in making the most of this important opportunity to increase national investment in research.

Alzheimer's Society increases its commitment to dementia research

Dementia research is desperately under-funded in the UK. In 2010 we invested £2 million in new research but there is so much more we want to fund. The Society has now committed to increase our annual research spend to £5 million by 2014. We are campaigning for similar increases from government and other research funders.

Training of care staff reduces use of unlicensed drugs in care homes

Antipsychotic drugs are dangerously over-prescribed to people with dementia and cause devastating side affects. Our research published in the British Medical Journal showed that specialist dementia training can improve quality of life and reduce the need for antipsychotics by 50%. Find out more about this project here.

The first ever online clinical trial

Does brain training work? 'Brain Test Britain' is a ground-breaking online clinical trial into the benefits of brain training involving 13,000 people in the UK. So far the trial has shown that brain training does not improve mental fitness in people under 60. These results have been published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A trial in people over 60 is still underway.

Tackling the tangles in the Alzheimer's brain

Our researchers pioneered research into the tau protein, which is now recognised as key to the progression of Alzheimer's disease. They found that abnormally produced tau causes the development of tangles in the brain and are investigating new targets for drug treatments. Our scientists have also produced a valuable model of Alzheimer's disease in fruit flies.

Developing earlier and more accurate diagnoses for dementia

Only one in three people with dementia receive a diagnosis, preventing them from accessing the information, support and treatment they need. Our researchers have developed new brain scanning techniques and are now working towards better, more accurate ways to diagnose dementia earlier.

Award-winning patient and public involvement in research

People with dementia and their carers play a vital role in our research. The Research Network of 180 people with dementia, carers and former carers are involved in setting research priorities, aiding funding decisions, monitoring the progress of funded projects, and disseminating the findings to the wider public. This public involvement in research has been regarded as a benchmark against which other charities build similar programmes.

National Dementia Strategy for England

The National Dementia Strategy for England was announced in February 2009. Alzheimer's Society worked closely with the government to advise on the strategy and continues to campaign for more investment in dementia research.