Theme lead: Clare Mackay
As populations age so do our aspirations to flourish in later life. Ambitions of deferred retirement, ongoing community engagement, and extended independent living are, however, all too often curtailed by increasing frailty in mental and cognitive health and increasing dementia. This has an enormous economic cost. That of dementia alone is greater than that of cancer and heart disease combined, presenting major challenges for health and social services.
The ambition to “identify a cure or a disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025” (G8 health ministers, December 2013) can be realised if we significantly increase research efforts in translational neuroscience. Over the last five years we have transformed the local and national landscape for dementia research. Our BRC theme is committed to identifying individuals in the pre-clinical stages of disease, developing novel interventions, and improving access to trials.
What are our aims?
- To preserve cognitive health in later life.
- To identify and test interventions that will delay the onset of dementia and slow progression of age-related cognitive decline.
- Refine and streamline our experimental medicine strategy for cognitive health in ageing.
How will we achieve this?
- Develop a Brain Health Assessment service for memory clinic patients.
- Optimise links with basic science to help identify new targets for drug development by partnering with the ARUK Oxford Drug Development Institute.
- Refine and apply novel biomarkers for early diagnosis of dementia.
- Improve patient access to trials, and refine ‘trial ready cohorts’ with partners in the MRC Dementias Platform UK.
- Develop and adapt secure IT systems for information exchange between the trust and university based on the Case Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system, and to promote open science.
- Develop and deliver training programmes for clinicians to enable closer partnership between the clinic and research.
- Deliver early phase trials, including through the IMI EPAD.
- Contribute to the NIHR translational Collaboration for Dementia which was set up to drive the NIHR agenda to translate discoveries from basic science into the clinic and through to real benefits for patients.