Key Research Themes

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC) is a network of researchers, practitioners, social scientists, and policy makers who are working on all aspects of dementia research across Scotland. The SDRC’s cross-disciplinary membership includes and involves people with dementia: this ensures that the network takes a human rights approach to its research, practice, and development of services. This person-centred method is unique to Scotland and it is already internationally recognised as a model of good practice in dementia research.

The 180 members of the SDRC engage in and support high-quality, collaborative dementia research. They work to bring the results of research into practice and to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and those who care for them. The SDRC draws participants in Scotland’s excellent research environment together to encourage and promote work that has the potential for practical use and real world impact. This is important since around 88,000 people in Scotland have dementia and one and three of Scotland’s population will experience dementia during their lifetimes. There are as yet no treatments to prevent or reverse Alzheimer’s Disease and other types of dementia.

The SDRC’s research activities involve those with or at risk of dementia, their families, and those who care for them. This means that the SDRC’s research is meaningful for people with all stages of the disease from prevention to management of its advanced stages. SDRC members add value to Scotland’s dementia research by identifying potential collaborations, finding synergies, working together, and promoting the use of their work in policy and practice.

The SDRC’s members are committed to developing relationships across the spectrum of dementia research in Scotland by involving researchers, institutes, policy makers, politicians, and the dementia community. They provide a dynamic environment for the planning and delivery of excellent research and training and, crucially, their work is underpinned by what people with dementia say is important.

The Scottish Government is committed to a strategy that aims to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with dementia. The SDRC’s inter-disciplinary network has the strength and depth to act in partnership with the Scottish Government to achieve improved diagnosis, better management, more positive patient outcomes, and a more efficient use of health and social care resources.

The SDRC’s key research themes include:

  1. Linking health and social care data to improve understanding about relationships between diagnosis and treatment and how personalised care and support can bring real benefits to the dementia community.
  1. Actively developing new drugs to treat dementia.
  1. Improving the chances of early diagnosis to develop effective treatments and personalised care.
  1. Undertaking research into ways of living well with dementia and by translating research into health and social care practice and services.
  1. Conducting dementia prevention studies and monitoring their effectiveness.

To read further information with regards to the five research themes that the SDRC is focused on, please click here to view the full publication entitled ‘Research Position Paper’*

*This paper, the result of consultation with SDRC members, describes some of the research approaches related to key themes in dementia research currently being explored across Scotland. It demonstrates the exceptional contributions and unique methodologies that the SCRC brings to dementia research and highlights the network’s potential for encouraging collaboration to create real benefits for those affected by dementia.

The executive leads for each of the above 5 key research themes are: 

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