brain 180A recent Research and Development Day organised by North Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (NEP) highlighted the importance of research as part of improving care and treatment of patients with dementia.

The Research and Development day was held at the Down Hall Country House Hotel in Hatfield Heath and was an opportunity for clinicians to discuss new developments in the field of research, the barriers they face and ways of involving members of the public in their work.

Ongoing studies include clinical drug trials in prodromal Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal lobe dementia and psychosis in dementia as well as observational studies looking at intimacy and relationships in early onset dementia, genetic markers and memory clinic services.

Chris Paveley, chairman of NEP, said: "Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face in the 21st century. The number of people affected by this illness is increasing and it is crucial that we find a cure or at least find ways to stop the suffering. This is why research is so important and I urge the public to get involved.

"We particularly want to find out more about young onset dementia and how we can help people live healthier lives. Without research, it is extremely difficult to make the breakthrough we need on dementia. If you are a service user or patient, feel free to contact us if you want to help with our research. Your support is vital."

The guest speakers were Dr Ben Underwood, clinical lead for dementias, mental health and neurology at the Clinical Research Network: Eastern; Emily Smeaton from King’s College London; and Tony Rivett, who highlighted the importance of public involvement in research.

The event also highlighted the recent national launch of ‘Join Dementia Research’. This initiative allows anyone, with or without dementia to sign up to help support dementia research and allows researchers across the NHS, including at NEP, to inform volunteers about dementia studies in their area.

To find out more, visit: