SDRC Research Themes

The SDRC promotes and supports all dementia research in Scotland. Our membership, and our Executive Committee, is diverse and represents all types of dementia and brain health research. The SDRC separate the different disciplines of dementia research in Scotland into themes, which helps us to oversee what types of research are happening and identify areas for development. 

At the SDRC, we encourage and promote researchers across all these disciplines and SDRC Themes to work together. 

Diagnosis

Discovering or improving methods to allow dementia to be detected more accurately and quickly. This type of research is important because earlier diagnosis enables treatment plans to be more effective.

What kind of research takes place in Diagnosis?

 

This process of diagnosing someone with dementia usually involves tests such as blood tests, spinal fluid tests, brain scanning in addition to speaking to a healthcare professional with someone who knows you well and answering questions about things you find difficult. Diagnosis is important because it helps to determine what the course of the illness will be and can help identify any treatment options. The earlier a person living with dementia is diagnosed, the more effective treatments and care plans are.

Research into diagnosis of conditions that can cause dementia is advancing all the time. This can include new ways of clinical testing of patients and coming up with more specific tests. Right now, in Scotland, research studies are taking place that are discovering new ways of brain scanning- from inventing new machines to new ways of analysing the scanning information.

Furthermore, Scotland has high standards of record keeping within our NHS which can be used to modernise diagnosis and create best practice across the country.

Recent Diagnosis News & Blogs

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22: Diagnosis

This blog is an extract from the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22, dedicates a section to the progress and ongoing work of each of the SDRC research themes.  This blog is from the Diagnosis theme, written by theme lead Dr Terry Quinn. Twelve months is a long time in...

Life Sciences Event with the SDRC, SULSA, Brain Health Scotland & Alzheimer Scotland

On the 26-27 May 2022, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland hosted world leaders in Life Sciences at a summit at the University of St Andrews.  This two-day...

Research Study: dementia assessment in people from ethnic minorities

Dr Clara Calia, lecturer in Clinical Psychology and Director of Ethics in the School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh, is recruiting healthcare professionals for a study which looks at dementia assessment in people from ethnic minority...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22

The SDRC Annual Report 2022, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Monday 9th May. It outlines what research has been ongoing in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. It includes the updates from each of the SDRC Research Themes, as...

Research Strategy Oversight Board Chair: Henry McLeish

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland are delighted to announce the appointment of Henry McLeish as the Chair of the Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy Oversight Board.  In July 2021, the SDRC,...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

The SDRC are delighted that Dr Leah Macaden has agreed to be co-opted to the SDRC Executive Committee. Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, it was decided to co-opt new members between now and the next election support our...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, the committee have decided to co-opt Jennifer to the Executive to support our growing activities as we emerge from the pandemic. Find out more in Jennifer's biography below. Jen Macfarlane...

NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network Strategy Launch

On 3rd December 2021, the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NRS NDN) launched a new strategy.  It sets out the Network's intention to involve, engage with, and support people with lived experience of neuroprogressive conditions or...

Scottish Neurological Research Fund 2021: Award Announcement

We have produced a report based on the findings of how COVID-19 has impacted our members’ research- with particular focus on ECRs

The launch Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy

Today (8 July 2021) sees the launch of the first Scottish Brain Health & Dementia Research Strategy. Prepared by Alzheimer Scotland, The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium and Brain Health Scotland, and endorsed by a broad range of national organisations, the...

Fundamental Science

Lab-based research which improves understanding of how the brain works and identifies what changes in the brain which cause diseases which contribute to dementia. Fundamental Scientists also work to identify discover new drugs and medical treatments which may prevent, delay or reduce the symptoms of dementia.

What kind of research takes place in Fundamental Science?

Fundamental science is the creation of new drugs and tests that can be used to better diagnose and treat dementia in the future.

Scotland has a strong reputation in the fundamental sciences with a diverse range of world-class researchers. Many of the major advances in this field, such as animal modelling, stem cell research and the MRI machine have their roots here. In addition, Scottish academic publications have highlighted major breakthroughs in much of our understanding of what we know about neurodegenerative diseases today.

At present, their work spans from the atomic level of understanding of a potential drug target, to evidencing that humans are not the only mammals to show the chemical signs of dementia. This rich understanding has led to new and world leading facilities that are aiming to translate this knowledge into potential new therapies. The concentration of drug discovery research in Scotland is unparalleled in Europe. 

Fundamental sciences in dementia research can also draw on the expertise of all Life Science researchers in Scotland, plus also the wealth and strength in depth of other disciplines including Chemistry and Physics, making it a truly interdisciplinary field. This solid basis indicates that research into the fundamental mechanisms that cause neurodegeneration will continue to flourish.  Looking to the future we predict the development of additional interdisciplinary approaches.

Recent Fundamental Science News & Blogs

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22: Fundamental Science

In the SDRC Annual Report 2021/21 we dedicated a section each to the progress and ongoing work of the SDRC research themes.  The following extract is focusing on the Fundamental Science theme, led by Professor Frank Gunn-Moore and Dr Sophie Bradley. Read more below....

Life Sciences Event with the SDRC, SULSA, Brain Health Scotland & Alzheimer Scotland

On the 26-27 May 2022, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland hosted world leaders in Life Sciences at a summit at the University of St Andrews.  This two-day...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22

The SDRC Annual Report 2022, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Monday 9th May. It outlines what research has been ongoing in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. It includes the updates from each of the SDRC Research Themes, as...

Research Strategy Oversight Board Chair: Henry McLeish

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland are delighted to announce the appointment of Henry McLeish as the Chair of the Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy Oversight Board.  In July 2021, the SDRC,...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

The SDRC are delighted that Dr Leah Macaden has agreed to be co-opted to the SDRC Executive Committee. Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, it was decided to co-opt new members between now and the next election support our...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, the committee have decided to co-opt Jennifer to the Executive to support our growing activities as we emerge from the pandemic. Find out more in Jennifer's biography below. Jen Macfarlane...

NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network Strategy Launch

On 3rd December 2021, the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NRS NDN) launched a new strategy.  It sets out the Network's intention to involve, engage with, and support people with lived experience of neuroprogressive conditions or...

Scottish Neurological Research Fund 2021: Award Announcement

We have produced a report based on the findings of how COVID-19 has impacted our members’ research- with particular focus on ECRs

The launch Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy

Today (8 July 2021) sees the launch of the first Scottish Brain Health & Dementia Research Strategy. Prepared by Alzheimer Scotland, The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium and Brain Health Scotland, and endorsed by a broad range of national organisations, the...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2020/21

The SDRC Annual Report 2020/21, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference 2021 on Wednesday 16th June. It outlines what research has been ongoing in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. Of course, it heavily features the impact COVID has...

Living with Dementia

Seeking a better understanding of the experience of dementia. This can allow us to find new ways to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers today.

What kind of research takes place in Living with Dementia?

A person’s experience of living with dementia is unique and influenced by a range of factors.  As dementia advances the needs of an individual and their family changes and it is important that we understand the experience of dementia so we can support, care for, and enable all people affected by dementia to live the best life possible. 

Research within this theme is about generating new knowledge that has potential for immediate impact that will improve lives and experiences of care and caring. Our current research explores all areas of living with dementia, from early diagnosis, to the advance stages and dying with dementia.  In particular, we focus on understanding the experiences of the individual and developing interventions to support and improve the lives of those with dementia. We do this through collaboration across higher education institutions which has proved key to producing high-quality, original and impactful research which makes a difference to the lives of those living with dementia

Above all else we are committed to actively involving people with dementia in research, which has resulted in the creation of research approaches. Scotland leads the way globally in the involvement of people with dementia and their families in research activities which has helped transform lives and keeps Scotland’s reputation as innovators in dementia care, policy initiatives and dementia education.

 

Recent Living with Dementia News & Blogs

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22: Living with Dementia

On the 9th May 2022, the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium launched our Annual Report.  In addition to providing an overview of all dementia and brain health research in the past year, we also have a section in the report dedicated to each of the SDRC research...

Life Sciences Event with the SDRC, SULSA, Brain Health Scotland & Alzheimer Scotland

On the 26-27 May 2022, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland hosted world leaders in Life Sciences at a summit at the University of St Andrews.  This two-day...

Research Study: Carers required to evaluate “iSupport” tool

Find out more below about a research study taking place at the University of Strathclyde. The University of Strathclyde would like to invite you to take part in a dementia carers research study. The research study is investigating whether using an online education and...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22

The SDRC Annual Report 2022, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Monday 9th May. It outlines what research has been ongoing in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. It includes the updates from each of the SDRC Research Themes, as...

Research Strategy Oversight Board Chair: Henry McLeish

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland are delighted to announce the appointment of Henry McLeish as the Chair of the Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy Oversight Board.  In July 2021, the SDRC,...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

The SDRC are delighted that Dr Leah Macaden has agreed to be co-opted to the SDRC Executive Committee. Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, it was decided to co-opt new members between now and the next election support our...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, the committee have decided to co-opt Jennifer to the Executive to support our growing activities as we emerge from the pandemic. Find out more in Jennifer's biography below. Jen Macfarlane...

Blog: Strengthening dementia education research through collaboration

In this blog, we hear about how a chance encounter at an SDRC Conference led to developments in dementia knowledge and education research. Read on to find out more... Harnessing the power of the SDRC: strengthening dementia education research through collaboration As...

Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) 2021 Annual Report

The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) has launched its Annual Celebration Report, 2021. It has a focus on education success and also features their work in applied research and their support of evidence based policy and practice work. We are...

NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network Strategy Launch

On 3rd December 2021, the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NRS NDN) launched a new strategy.  It sets out the Network's intention to involve, engage with, and support people with lived experience of neuroprogressive conditions or...

Prevention

Prevention research is about how and at what point in a person’s life they start developing dementia.

This theme also looks at how other factors can increase or decrease the speed of progression. These can include lifestyle and genetics

What research is happening in Prevention?

The numbers of people with end stage degenerative brain disease (or dementia) is increasing in all parts of the world, primarily because people are living longer.

Historically in dementia and degenerative brain disease work we have been focused on helping people with symptoms of dementia at more advanced stage to not develop significant impairments, with post diagnostic support and medications.  However, with greater understanding of the science of degenerative brain diseases, we are now able to detect early disease and are getting better at working out what is likely to happen in the future.

There is now convincing evidence that degenerative brain disease starts about 30-40 years before the first signs of dementia appear. If we can do this effectively decades before the symptoms develop, then we can prevent the disease progressing to dementia.

Prevention is a massive area of research world-wide and in Scotland. This work mainly includes the undertaking and coordination of cohort studies (a group of people studied over time) where we can learn about disease progression and how this is related to factors like lifestyle, medical comorbidities and genetics.

 

Recent Living Prevention News & Blogs

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22: Prevention

Dementia Prevention, is one of the themes of the SDRC and featured in the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22. Theme lead, and SDRC chair, Professor Craig Ritchie, has written the following extract from the report dedicated to the research across Scotland on dementia...

Life Sciences Event with the SDRC, SULSA, Brain Health Scotland & Alzheimer Scotland

On the 26-27 May 2022, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland hosted world leaders in Life Sciences at a summit at the University of St Andrews.  This two-day...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22

The SDRC Annual Report 2022, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Monday 9th May. It outlines what research has been ongoing in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. It includes the updates from each of the SDRC Research Themes, as...

Research Strategy Oversight Board Chair: Henry McLeish

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland are delighted to announce the appointment of Henry McLeish as the Chair of the Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy Oversight Board.  In July 2021, the SDRC,...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

The SDRC are delighted that Dr Leah Macaden has agreed to be co-opted to the SDRC Executive Committee. Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, it was decided to co-opt new members between now and the next election support our...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, the committee have decided to co-opt Jennifer to the Executive to support our growing activities as we emerge from the pandemic. Find out more in Jennifer's biography below. Jen Macfarlane...

NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network Strategy Launch

On 3rd December 2021, the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NRS NDN) launched a new strategy.  It sets out the Network's intention to involve, engage with, and support people with lived experience of neuroprogressive conditions or...

Scottish Neurological Research Fund 2021: Award Announcement

We have produced a report based on the findings of how COVID-19 has impacted our members’ research- with particular focus on ECRs

Research in the News: Football Heading and Dementia Risk

Researchers Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group (GBIRG) led by Associate Professor Willie Stewart, have published their findings reporting a link between a footballers' outfield position and neurodegenerative risk.  Taking place at the University of Glasgow, as part...

The launch Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy

Today (8 July 2021) sees the launch of the first Scottish Brain Health & Dementia Research Strategy. Prepared by Alzheimer Scotland, The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium and Brain Health Scotland, and endorsed by a broad range of national organisations, the...

Informatics & Technology

Using both the data that already exists to identify ways to improve the experience of dementia (includes health data but can also include any other data, e.g social media) as well as developing innovations technologies to support those living with or at risk of developing dementia.

What kind of research takes place in Informatics & Technology?

 

Innovative technologies that support and enhance brain health are growing as fast as the changing needs of those with dementia. Scotland is a hub of technological innovation. We therefore have the knowledge, experience and expertise among us to leverage this wealth of innovation to support those affected by dementia, or are at risk of developing the condition.

 

Recent Informatics & Technology News & Blogs

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22: Living with Dementia

On the 9th May 2022, the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium launched our Annual Report.  In addition to providing an overview of all dementia and brain health research in the past year, we also have a section in the report dedicated to each of the SDRC research...

Life Sciences Event with the SDRC, SULSA, Brain Health Scotland & Alzheimer Scotland

On the 26-27 May 2022, the Scottish Universities Life Sciences Alliance (SULSA), the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland hosted world leaders in Life Sciences at a summit at the University of St Andrews.  This two-day...

Research Study: Carers required to evaluate “iSupport” tool

Find out more below about a research study taking place at the University of Strathclyde. The University of Strathclyde would like to invite you to take part in a dementia carers research study. The research study is investigating whether using an online education and...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2021/22

The SDRC Annual Report 2022, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Monday 9th May. It outlines what research has been ongoing in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. It includes the updates from each of the SDRC Research Themes, as...

Research Strategy Oversight Board Chair: Henry McLeish

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium, Brain Health Scotland and Alzheimer Scotland are delighted to announce the appointment of Henry McLeish as the Chair of the Scottish Brain Health and Dementia Research Strategy Oversight Board.  In July 2021, the SDRC,...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

The SDRC are delighted that Dr Leah Macaden has agreed to be co-opted to the SDRC Executive Committee. Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, it was decided to co-opt new members between now and the next election support our...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, the committee have decided to co-opt Jennifer to the Executive to support our growing activities as we emerge from the pandemic. Find out more in Jennifer's biography below. Jen Macfarlane...

Blog: Strengthening dementia education research through collaboration

In this blog, we hear about how a chance encounter at an SDRC Conference led to developments in dementia knowledge and education research. Read on to find out more... Harnessing the power of the SDRC: strengthening dementia education research through collaboration As...

Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) 2021 Annual Report

The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) has launched its Annual Celebration Report, 2021. It has a focus on education success and also features their work in applied research and their support of evidence based policy and practice work. We are...

NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network Strategy Launch

On 3rd December 2021, the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NRS NDN) launched a new strategy.  It sets out the Network's intention to involve, engage with, and support people with lived experience of neuroprogressive conditions or...

Read the latest SDRC Annual Report

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22

Read the latest SDRC report, which provides an overview of the work with each SDRC research theme. It also details the output of all dementia and brain health research in Scotland, including investment, published papers and impact.

Hear more from researchers in our blog pages

How COVID has Impacted Early Career Researchers: July 2020 Survey Findings

You may be aware, since the start of the pandemic, the SDRC have been communicating with members on the impact of Covid on dementia research. At the start of lockdown, we ran a survey to find out how the pandemic has affected ECRs.  From this we created a report,...

Research in the News: Football Heading and Dementia Risk

Researchers Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group (GBIRG) led by Associate Professor Willie Stewart, have published their findings reporting a link between a footballers' outfield position and neurodegenerative risk.  Taking place at the University of Glasgow, as part...

NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network Strategy Launch

On 3rd December 2021, the NHS Research Scotland Neuroprogressive and Dementia Research Network (NRS NDN) launched a new strategy.  It sets out the Network's intention to involve, engage with, and support people with lived experience of neuroprogressive conditions or...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

The SDRC are delighted that Dr Leah Macaden has agreed to be co-opted to the SDRC Executive Committee. Given the change of circumstances of the SDRC Executive Committee in 2020/21, it was decided to co-opt new members between now and the next election support our...

Research Recruitment Support for Primary Care Researchers

The NRS Primary Care Network is the national primary care research network operating in Scotland. The network was established in 2002 as a framework to co-ordinate national research activity in primary care. The overall aim of the network is to increase the amount of...

Do you have insights to share with other researchers? Write a blog for the SDRC!

We are always looking for SDRC members to feature on our website and write a guest blog for the SDRC. You may already be familiar with our blog series, where we welcome contributions from people with an experience of brain health or dementia research. From talking to...

Alzheimer Scotland welcomes announcement of Scottish Brain Health Register

Scotland’s largest annual dementia conference (Friday 8 June, EICC, Edinburgh) will see the official launch of the newly created Scottish Brain Health Register. The register is led by the Scottish Dementia Informatics Platform (part of the...

Ten years of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre: past, present, and future

Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre (ASDRC) is in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and provides a high quality environment for dementia research. On the 21st September 2021, the ASDRC celebrated its 10th Anniversary. To celebrate this, they...

SDRC Virtual Conference 2020 Summary

On the 7th September 2020, the SDRC hosted our fifth annual conference. The Conference was our biggest event yet. Over 240 people registered to attend, with three plenary speakers, eight early career researchers, 15 poster exhibitors and four exhibition stands. Thank...

Aducanumab: Approval of new Alzheimer’s disease drug explained

Aducanumab: Dr Terry Quinn explains approval of new Alzheimer's disease drug  SDRC Executive Committee member, Dr Terry Quinn, Terry takes us through all the important facts behind the recent announcement by the FDA in the US to approve aducanumab for the treatment of...

How can I be a part of the SDRC?

The SDRC is the biggest network of dementia and brain health research in Scotland. We all work together to celebrate and grow the research community.

Membership is free and open to all.