A lab-based environment should be no barrier to public involvement in research #userinvolvment

I am often asked whether it is difficult - if not impossible - to involve the public in laboratory based research where researchers have limited or no direct contact with patients and the public. My answer is that it might be difficult but it can be done. And the benefits can be significant.  The real challenges... Continue Reading →

Sign-up to help step-up research into dementia: new service enables people to volunteer for research studies #joindementiaresearch @beatdementia

Of all the dementia initiatives announced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, this weekend it may prove the pivotal one.  It may not grab headlines in the same way as £ commitments to research or new institutes (although it is doing pretty well). But, without it, this expenditure will be worthless. For other patient populations it... Continue Reading →

Lessons I learnt from the Alzheimer’s Society story of public involvement in research

The Alzheimer's Society has published a new booklet entitled '15 years of the Research Network.' http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/download_info.php?fileID=2261 It looks at the work of their Research Network of 250 people with dementia and carers in shaping and advancing the charity's £5.3M research programme, some of their achievements, and a short history of how it all got started.The... Continue Reading →

World Alzheimer’s Day – from timebomb to tsunami (PLoS an update on patient information and placebos)

Expect lots of news pieces this week about Alzheimer's disease ahead of World Alzheimer's Day (WAD) which takes place on Friday 21st September.  This is one of the better ones I have seen, from the Observer yesterday.  Interesting how the language has changed although the message has not - what was once called a timebomb... Continue Reading →

From crisis to challenge: PM to spell out new dementia plan including research boost

This morning's news bulletins are full of stories trailing the Prime Minister's speech in London later today, when he is expected to launch a national challenge on dementia - from accelerating research funding and setting up a new academic science centre, to establishing a national screening programme and encouraging people to donate their brains to research.... Continue Reading →

Obama echoes Nixon’s ‘war on cancer’ with pledge to Alzheimer’s families

This piece from Forbes Magazine is worth reading as a critique of the Obama Presidential Advisory Group draft framework on Alzheimer's published this week.  The Group have set a goal of  effectively treating and preventing Alzheimer's by 2025. Obama and Nixon would make strange bedfellows.  But the last paragraph of the article is perhaps the most salient in pointing... Continue Reading →

Some reflections on the vCJD blood test story

The BBC's Fergus Walsh wrote an excellent blog this week about the prototype blood test for vCJD (Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease). But there is another story implicit behind it that is worth telling - what has been achieved through the fortitude of patients and scientists working together in the face of insurmountable odds.  I can not do justice... Continue Reading →

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