Our Support

The Dementias and Neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN) specialty supports the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS in a range of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases. Our job is to ensure that studies into dementias and neurodegeneration that are included in our national portfolio of research receive the right support to make sure they are delivered successfully in the NHS.

The Government’s Challenge on Dementia sets out the ambition for England to be the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases by 2020.  UK Dementia research is fully embedded in NHS clinical practice. Expertise exists in all stages and types of dementia, from pre-symptomatic through mild cognitive impairment to more advance stages. This includes Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementias, vascular cognitive impairment, mixed dementias, frontotemporal dementia and other less common forms. Studies span the full translational research pathway.

Neurodegeneration as part of the Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases (DeNDRoN) Specialty, is made up of leading research-interested clinicians and practitioners at both national and local levels. We support studies in neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Motor Neurone Disease and ensure they are delivered to time and target.

We support researchers from across a range of disciplines including neurology, old age psychiatry, geriatric medicine, genetics, general practice, psychology, nursing and other allied health professions. We deliver this research across a wide range of health care settings, including primary and community care, mental health services and acute hospitals.

We are working with NHS trusts, research funders and patient support organisations to promote the successful delivery of research studies in the NHS that will address patient’s needs. We help researchers to understand how their studies into dementias and neurodegenerative diseases will work in the NHS.

Where there are considerable overlaps with other specialty areas, for example neurological disorders, mental health and age and aging, we work closely with our colleagues from across the Network to deliver high quality collaborative research.

VIDEO: How the NIHR can support your dementia research in the UK

General Information Leaflet

Find out more about the Dementias and Neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN) Specialty and how it works.

Dementias and Neurodegeneration Specialty Leaflet

National Dementias and Neurodegeneration Clinical Specialty Leads

Each of our 15 Local Clinical Research Networks has at least one nominated local Clinical Specialty Research Lead for Dementias and Neurodegeneration. These clinicians lead research groups to promote and support Dementias and Neurodegeneration research within the NHS Trusts in their area.

At a national level the local leads come together to manage the national Dementias and Neurodegeneration clinical research portfolio. This involves regularly reviewing the progress of studies, identifying barriers to recruitment, and coming up with solutions and strategies to help overcome those barriers. Our National Specialty Group of clinical experts offer advice and support to commercial and non-commercial customers looking to conduct research in the NHS.

Meet our National Specialty Group Members

What else do we offer?

Dementia - Join Dementia Research is a nationwide service that allows you to register your interest in volunteering for vital dementia research studies.  Once signed up you’ll be alerted to appropriate studies in your area. It’s also possible to register on behalf of someone who may not be able to register themselves, acting as a representative.

Clinical Studies Groups (CSGs)

Clinical Studies Groups provide strategic oversight, support and monitor development and delivery of specialty research across the UK. The groups aim to ensure high quality delivery of a well-designed and balanced mix of commercial and non-commercial research, and that this is available to all NHS patients. Membership includes clinical, scientific, funding body, patient and carer representatives from around the nation. It provides leadership, facilitated research development and multi-centre collaborations as well as bringing new studies to the clinical environment in an effective and timely manner. CSGs are represented on the NIHR CRN specialty groups, enabling collaboration.

CSGs exists for the following neurodegenerative disorders:

Portfolio Development Groups (PDGs)

Portfolio Development Groups are composed of experienced researchers from diverse disciplines and lay members within the specialty field that promote the development of innovative ideas into funded research. The groups' remits includes identifying research gaps as well as supporting Writing Groups to formulate and prepare grant applications for clinical studies.

PDGs exist for the following neurodegenerative disorders:

Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases are increasingly understood to have commonalities in underlying mechanisms, patient experience, and symptoms; and their management is increasingly multi-disciplinary and converging over time. Advances in understanding of these diseases and new treatments are likely to come from inter-disciplinary research between them.  Where there are considerable overlaps with other specialty areas, for example neurological disorders, mental health and ageing, we also work closely with our colleagues from across the Network to deliver high quality collaborative research.

The Dementias and Neurodegeneration (DeNDRoN) Specialty supports a wide range of research in these disease areas, including research into the underlying mechanisms and causes, ways to prevent, new symptom- and disease-modifying treatments and better care.

Our local teams of research staff are specialists in facilitating the set up and recruitment to studies in England. We have substantial experience of supporting all types of research studies including complex and multi-centre clinical interventions. We work with researchers and clinicians in a diverse range of specialities and collaborate with patient charities.  We have a strong tradition of public and patient involvement in our research.

Our Dementia Specialty has a skilled and experienced workforce, enhanced by our Rater training programme. Through Join Dementia Research we help facilitate patient participation in research and accelerate recruitment to dementia studies.

You can find out more about Dementias and Neurodegeneration studies in your area through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.

Find a Dementia and Neurodegeneration Study in your area

To find out more about current Dementia and Neurodegeneration studies you can view a list of studies on the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database

Working with the Life Sciences

The NIHR Clinical Research Network Dementias and Neurodegeneration Specialty has been very successful in recruiting patients to studies.  With our membership extending throughout the UK we can facilitate and recruit to a wide range of diverse studies. In addition to this, Join Dementia Research has been established to facilitate recruitment to ethically approved dementia research studies taking place in the UK.

Specialty Profiles for Life Sciences Industry

Find out about what our Dementias and Neurodegeneration specialty can offer the life-sciences industry and why you should place your study in England.