Our research impact

Alzheimer's Society funds cutting-edge research into the cause, care, cure and prevention of dementia. Here are some of our important highlights.

Since 1990, Alzheimer's Society has invested £60 million and funded over 400 research projects.

Between 2012 and 2017 we increased our annual investment in dementia research from £2 million to £10 million.

Our Research Impact 2018/19

In our Annual Research Review, we share the impact our research programme has made in the past year. 

Our research is not only taking us closer to new treatments than ever before but is also taking vital steps towards better care for people living with the condition today and their friends and family.

Annual Research Review 2018/2019

Read our report and learn how our research programme is bringing us closer to a world without dementia.

Download report

Top 10 research highlights 

Through our research, we have seen huge progress. Here we highlight just a few of the more important achievements made in recent years.

1. 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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Leading the way with Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in research

People with dementia and their carers play a vital role in our research. Nearly 300 strong, our Research Network, is made up of people with dementia, carers and former carers. They are involved in every stage of research.

Our Patient and Public Involvement (PPI)  in research has been regarded as a benchmark against which other charities build similar programmes. 

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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%.

Other areas of impact

We have been working to develop ways to support people with learning disabilities who have dementia. The innovation team share the insights and findings in the full project report. 

Download report
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