Public willingness to participate in dementia research is at an all-time high, according to new research, which also reflects a growing appetite to engage in medical research more broadly due to the Covid pandemic.
In a survey by Alzheimer’s Research UK, more than two-thirds (69 per cent) of respondents said they were willing to engage in dementia research in 2021.
This is up from 50 per cent in 2018 – an increase that may be partly driven by the COVID pandemic.
Since the pandemic hit in March last year, more than 500,000 people across the UK have volunteered to study Covid to help scientists tackle the virus.
And in separate research by Alzheimer’s Research UK, 29 percent of adults said they were more likely to be involved in medical research because of the pandemic.
It comes before World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September.
Alzheimer’s Research UK calls on the public to register their interest in supporting cutting-edge medical research into dementia.
These findings come ahead of the full results of Wave 2 of the charity’s Dementia Attitude Monitor, the most comprehensive regular monitor of public perceptions in dementia and research, which will launch on World Alzheimer’s Day.
The monitor includes data from 2,259 interviews conducted by Ipsos MORI between June 18 and July 19, 2021 and was funded by The Perfume Shop.
Last year, more than 16,000 people were recruited into the Dementia Research Study through Join Dementia Research, an online and telephone system that matches volunteers with dementia research studies across the UK – after the program launched in 2015. highest number of .
The Dementia Attitude Monitor found that 1 in 10 UK adults are willing to be involved in dementia research, citing the main reason they “saw the importance of medical research during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The most popular reasons were “research is the only answer to dementia” (46 percent) and “my family members or friends are affected” (23 percent).
Hilary Evans, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “The Covid pandemic has had a devastating impact on many people across the UK, not least those with dementia and their families who were hardest hit.
“This research shows that the shared experience of coming together to help science overcome the coronavirus has given people more trust and appetite for medical research in general.
She continued: “This is positive news for the thousands of studies that are underway to help understand and combat health conditions such as dementia, cancer and heart disease.
There are currently 78 different research studies looking for volunteers at Join Dementia Research, including a study at the University of Newcastle funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK that uses a digital tool to detect diseases that cause dementia years before symptoms occur. Helping to develop the toolkit.
Volunteers over the age of 40 with a diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment and a caregiver or family member were asked to use smartphone apps and wearable devices, such as watches and headbands, to collect data about their daily lives and behavior. will be asked for.
Although the pilot study will not be able to predict a volunteer’s risk of dementia, it aims to understand whether this type of technology would be useful and acceptable in research studies aimed at future approaches to the detection of diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In the form of detection of these devices. an initial stage.
The Minister of Innovation, Lord Bethel, said: “The scale and pace of research in the UK is unparalleled and has been instrumental in our fight against COVID. It has paved the way for vaccines, better treatments and better care, ultimately saving thousands of lives. It is wonderful to see increased public support for medical research and, as we look forward, public participation is critical in advancing new innovative technology and improving our understanding of diseases, particularly Alzheimer’s.
“I encourage people to get involved and support efforts to tackle diseases beyond pandemics by participating in online surveys or focus groups, scans, or clinical trials for new drugs. I volunteer.”
Doug Banks, who suffered from posterior cortical atrophy (PCa) at age 56, said: “With this rare form of dementia, being able to participate in research is very important to me. I have participated in a variety of research, Including clinical trials, both static and longitudinal studies, and practical tests such as mechanical tests and ultra-high resolution brain scans.”
He said: “In general, and especially during the COVID pandemic, I have found great comfort and solace in the fact that the clinical trial I was in was underway. It was so important to me that despite the pandemic, testing was still prioritized.
“Traveling 200 miles each way from my home in Cheltenham to London to participate in research has been instrumental in keeping me motivated and mentally resilient during the lockdown. I testify to the fact that research is offering hope for people with all types of dementia, including rare diseases like PCa, and I strongly encourage people with and without dementia to get involved. I do
JOIN Dementia Research is given in partnership by the National Institute for Health Research, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Alzheimer’s Scotland and the Alzheimer’s Society and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. Anyone with and without dementia can register their interest in participating in the research study by signing up here www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk Or call 0300 111 5111.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /