Research 3 – Overview

Thanks to a grant from Healthcare Management Trust, new research will be undertaken into reducing the risk of falls for adults with a mild cognitive impairment. The project, supported by Alzheimer’s Society, will be delivered through a 3 year clinical training fellowship at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust by Victoria Booth, a Senior Physiotherapist.

Various studies have reported that if an older adult has dementia they are more at risk of falls. This project seeks to establish whether we can identify and treat older adults with a mild cognitive impairment who are at risk of falling. The researcher will develop and test interventions to reduce the risk of falls that specifically address the additional challenges that people with cognitive problems face. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia by reducing the number of falls and injuries associated with them.
What do we already know?
Our risk of falling increases naturally as we age due to problems with vision, muscle strength, balance and environmental factors. In fact, one third of all adults over the age of 65 will experience a fall. Most of the factors that contribute to falls can be treated or adapted to reduce this risk of falls in a healthy older population; falls rehabilitation programmes targeting strength and balance re-training using a multi-professional approach show the number of falls an older adult experiences can be reduced.

Most of the research that has investigated these treatments excludes adults with any problems with their thinking, yet various studies have reported that if an adult has dementia they are more at risk of falls.
This project seeks to answer one main question: can we identify and treat adults with a mild cognitive impairment who are at risk of falling?
What does this project involve?
This project is a collection of 3 smaller projects, each feeding into the other. The first part will look at research already published in order to understand which methods are currently used and what research in the area has been done previously relating to people with dementia.

The second stage of the study will use already-collected data from a previous study of people with mild cognitive impairment, reanalysed to look at this particular question.
The third stage of the project will develop and test an intervention to reduce the risk of falls in people with dementia, which specifically addresses the additional challenges that people with cognitive problems face.
How will this benefit people with dementia?
The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the life of people with dementia by reducing the number of falls and injuries associated with them. Falls are costly in money, time and energy, both to the NHS and to patients and their carers. Reducing the number of falls a person with dementia has could ease the physical and emotional strain of their carer and painful injuries to the person with dementia.

Lead Investigator: Victoria Booth
Institution: Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Grant type: Clinical Training Fellowship
Duration: 3 years
Amount: £150,408

Research 2 – Research Strategy
Alzheimer’s Society is the only UK charity to fund research into the cause, care and prevention of all types of dementia. Our current strategy for funding research outlines our key priorities over the coming years as well as our unique way of working with scientists and people affected by dementia in partnership.
See below details of their seven point research strategy;
1. Doubling our funding for research
We will double our commitment to funding research from £5 million in 2014 to at least £10 million per year on new research by 2017.
2. Funding high-quality research into all types of dementia
Our funding will be available to support any area of research that investigates the cause, cure, care and prevention of any type of dementia. We will fund the most promising applications assessed on their scientific quality and their relevance to people affected by dementia.
3. Supporting future generations of dementia researchers
Our Dementia Research Leaders programme will increase research into all areas of dementia by attracting, developing and retaining the best scientists, clinicians and care professionals to the field of dementia research.
4. Accelerating discovery of new drug treatments
Our Drug Discovery programme aims to develop new treatments for dementia quickly and efficiently by testing drugs already being used or still in development to treat other conditions.
5. Collecting brain tissue to support the highest quality research
The Brains for Dementia Research programme collects high-quality and well-characterised post-mortem brain tissue to provide researchers with a vital resource to help them understand the causes of dementia and find a cure.
6. Maximising the impact of research
To maximise the impact of our research, we will make sure findings are taken forward and developed into something practical that makes a real difference to the lives of people with dementia and their families.
7. Responding to the changing world of dementia research
As attitudes and approaches to dementia continue to change, our research strategy will remain flexible so we can quickly react to and capitalise on new research opportunities that arise in the coming years.

Research 2 – Research Team

We share the Alzeimers Society belief that people with dementia and their carers make a unique and valuable contribution to our work. Their knowledge and passion ensures our research funding is allocated to projects that address the real needs and concerns of people with dementia and their carers.
People with dementia and their carers play in important role in the ALzeimers Society research.
Alzheimer’s Society is a pioneer in public involvement in dementia research. Our Research Network is a team of over 250 carers, former carers and people with dementia. Research Network volunteers play an integral role in the research programme. Their duties include:
•    setting our research priorities
•    reviewing funding applications
•    sitting on grant funding panels
•    monitoring on-going projects funded by Alzheimer’s Society
•    telling others about the results of research and ensuring that outcomes are translated into tangible benefits for people affected by dementia.
We share the Alzeimers Society belief that people with dementia and their carers make a unique and valuable contribution to our work. Their knowledge and passion ensures our research funding is allocated to projects that address the real needs and concerns of people with dementia and their carers.