Mass survey launches to help shape future treatments for dementia and improve patients’ quality of life
Leading dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research UK is calling for people to take part in a new online survey that could help shape future treatments for dementia.
Launched on the 20th of August, the survey asks for people’s views on the aspects of daily life that are most important to them, and which they’d most like to protect if they were to develop a disease that causes dementia.
Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that dementia is still the leading cause of death in England and Wales, making it a top priority in terms of advances in research and treatments.
Currently, new treatments are assessed on their ability to alter markers of disease, improve performance on memory and thinking tests and impact a person’s everyday life. However, Alzheimer’s Research UK stresses that there is little information available about the aspects of daily life that are valued most highly by those with dementia or those facing the condition in the future.
The charity is hoping to tackle this issue by collecting views from as many people as possible on the things that would be most important to them to protect if faced with a diagnosis of dementia.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said: “Dementia is one of the major health and care challenges of our time and it’s crucial we are at the forefront of cutting-edge research to develop new treatments and help people live the best quality of life.
“Whether you have dementia or know someone who has, I urge you to take part in this survey to equip researchers with the information needed to make the UK the best place in the world to live with dementia.”
Working with researchers at the University of Edinburgh, the charity is asking people with and without dementia to take part in the survey.
The results of the survey will be used to help inform regulators and healthcare decision makers who will be tasked with assessing the next dementia treatments. They will also be shared with researchers who are working to develop future treatment approaches.
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, commented: “It’s the public that drive our mission to bring about a life-changing treatment for dementia, and it’s important for people’s voices to be heard by those involved in that effort.
“Everyone’s experience of dementia is different and we all have different things that are important to us – whether it’s our ability to enjoy hobbies and social activities, our sense of identity or our relationships with family and friends. Information about what aspects of life people would most want to preserve in the face of dementia will help drug regulators assess the value of potential new treatments in a more informed way.
“We’re asking everyone to take part in our survey, whether they have experience of dementia or not, to make sure we capture as many opinions as possible. We’ll build on the results with further research, to understand what side effects people would accept in a treatment that could provide the benefits that they deem most important. By taking part in this survey, you could be helping to shape future treatments for dementia.”