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New initiative launched to attract dementia study volunteers

New initiative launched to attract dementia study volunteers
27th February 2015

A new initiative has been launched to match researchers with members of the public who are willing to take part in dementia studies.

Join Dementia Research is a nationwide online and telephone service that allows people with and without dementia to register their interest in studies. Its aim is to speed up the pace of research into the condition, which affects 850,000 people in the UK.

The initiative has been launched in response to a new national poll, which showed that while almost two-thirds of the general public (62 per cent) would be willing to take part in dementia research, more than four out of five people (81 per cent) wouldn't know how to volunteer. 

Anyone aged 18 years or over can sign up themselves, or on behalf of someone else, by registering online or contacting the helplines of Alzheimer's Research UK (0300 111 5 111) and Alzheimer's Society (0300 222 1122). 

Those who sign up give their permission for researchers to contact them with details of studies in their area that match their profile.

People can then decide whether they wish to take part in the studies on a case-by-case basis. Participation is not compulsory and individuals will be able to opt out at any time.

Secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt said: "New research is desperately needed to help the growing numbers of people who live with dementia, which is why we're doubling the size of the funding pot. 

"This is an important initiative, and I encourage anyone who is interested to visit the website or call the charity helplines to find out more about how they can help us tackle dementia."

Critical research into dementia has been held back by the lack of volunteers, with less than five per cent of people with dementia taking part in studies.

Join Dementia Research was piloted in a small region for six months, attracting 1,800 volunteers, over 200 of whom have participated in studies through the scheme.

Read more about Barchester's dementia care homes.