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

Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme: Award Announcement

The Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme has funded two projects during its 2023/4 round of applications. We are pleased to announce the team that were awarded the second of two awards is Dr Coco Newton from University College London and Prof Anja Maier from...

The Ella Macgregor Award: Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme 2024

The Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme is excited to announce the first of two recipients of funding for 2024. This particular award, which will also be known as the Ella Macgregor Award, goes to the student Katie Robertson, supervised by a team led by Prof...

Celebrating Scottish Research Award Winners 2024

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

Guest Blog: Rachel Allen

Today's blog is from Rachel Allen, a PhD candidate form the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland. Rachel talks about the PhD journey and the process of research. My name is Rachel Allen, and I am in my second year...

Guest Blog: Ahmed Alharthi

Today's blog is from Ahmed Alharthi, who in undertaking a PhD at the University of Glasgow. Ahmed talks about the PhD journey. I am a licenced clinical pharmacist by background, who works with Dr Terry Quinn, a consultant physician and geriatrician in the NHS and a...

Early Career Researcher Profiles

These Early Career Researcher profiles are some of the researchers that featured in the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23. We will share the rest of these profiles tomorrow, but you can read all profiles, and the rest of the SDRC report here  Lisa Davison  I am a...

SDRC Annual Report 2022/23: Diagnosis

This blog is an extract from the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23, 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 leads Dr Terry Quinn and Dr Jennifer Macfarlane. Summary of...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23

The SDRC Annual Report 2023, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Tuesday 25th April 2023. 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...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

Following the 2022 SDRC Executive Committee election, Dr Leah Macaden has been elected as a new member. Find out more in Leah's biography below. Dr Leah Macaden is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Edinburgh with a rich and diverse range of academic,...

SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

In October 2022, the SDRC held our election to refresh the Executive Committee. We are now able to announce who was successfully voted. Jennifer Macfarlane has been a co-opted member of the SDRC Executive Committee since earlier this year, we are now delighted to...

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

Celebrating Scottish Research Award Winners 2024

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

SDRC Annual Report 2022/23: Fundamental Science

In the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23 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....

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23

The SDRC Annual Report 2023, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Tuesday 25th April 2023. 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...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

Following the 2022 SDRC Executive Committee election, Dr Leah Macaden has been elected as a new member. Find out more in Leah's biography below. Dr Leah Macaden is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Edinburgh with a rich and diverse range of academic,...

SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

In October 2022, the SDRC held our election to refresh the Executive Committee. We are now able to announce who was successfully voted. Jennifer Macfarlane has been a co-opted member of the SDRC Executive Committee since earlier this year, we are now delighted to...

Outgoing SDRC Chair: Professor Craig Ritchie Blog

Today, 10th October 2022, the SDRC will open nominations for researchers to join Executive Committee and for the position of Chair- members will receive an email to their inbox with further details. SDRC Chair, Professor Craig Ritchie is standing down. Please read...

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,...

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

Celebrating Scottish Research Award Winners 2024

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

Guest Blog: Enabling Research in Care Homes (ENRICH) Scotland

In this guest blog from Enabling research in Care Homes (ENRICH) Scotland, we find out more about the work of the organisation and how they are working with care homes to increase representation in research. This blog is taken from the SDRC Annual Report, which you...

SDRC Annual Report 2022/23: Living with Dementia

Earlier this year, 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...

Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice recognised at the Herald Higher Education Awards 2023

Congratulations to the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) at the University of the West of Scotland on winning the for Outstanding Contribution to the Local Community at the Herald Higher Education Awards 2023. The specific project was...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23

The SDRC Annual Report 2023, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Tuesday 25th April 2023. 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...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

Following the 2022 SDRC Executive Committee election, Dr Leah Macaden has been elected as a new member. Find out more in Leah's biography below. Dr Leah Macaden is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Edinburgh with a rich and diverse range of academic,...

SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

In October 2022, the SDRC held our election to refresh the Executive Committee. We are now able to announce who was successfully voted. Jennifer Macfarlane has been a co-opted member of the SDRC Executive Committee since earlier this year, we are now delighted to...

Outgoing SDRC Chair: Professor Craig Ritchie Blog

Today, 10th October 2022, the SDRC will open nominations for researchers to join Executive Committee and for the position of Chair- members will receive an email to their inbox with further details. SDRC Chair, Professor Craig Ritchie is standing down. Please read...

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...

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

Celebrating Scottish Research Award Winners 2024

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

SDRC Annual Report 2022/23: Prevention

Dementia Prevention, is one of the themes of the SDRC and featured in the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23. Theme lead, Dr Stina Saunders, has written the following extract from the report dedicated to the research across Scotland on dementia prevention and brain health....

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23

The SDRC Annual Report 2023, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Tuesday 25th April 2023. 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...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

Following the 2022 SDRC Executive Committee election, Dr Leah Macaden has been elected as a new member. Find out more in Leah's biography below. Dr Leah Macaden is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Edinburgh with a rich and diverse range of academic,...

SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

In October 2022, the SDRC held our election to refresh the Executive Committee. We are now able to announce who was successfully voted. Jennifer Macfarlane has been a co-opted member of the SDRC Executive Committee since earlier this year, we are now delighted to...

Outgoing SDRC Chair: Professor Craig Ritchie Blog

Today, 10th October 2022, the SDRC will open nominations for researchers to join Executive Committee and for the position of Chair- members will receive an email to their inbox with further details. SDRC Chair, Professor Craig Ritchie is standing down. Please read...

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,...

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

Research Associate: Agent-based Memory Prosthesis to Encourage Reminiscing (AMPER) project

Location University of Strathclyde, Glasgow Salary £36,024 (pro rata) Contract 0.5 FTE, 1 FTE from Sept 2024, Fixed Term (26/02/2026) Closing date 28 July 2024 The Department of Psychological Sciences and Health at the University of Strathclyde is recruiting to work...

Celebrating Scottish Research Award Winners 2024

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

SDRC Annual Report 2022/23: Informatics & Technology

The following is an excerpt of SDRC Annual Report 2022/23 which provides on overview of the research in the field of brain health Informatics & Technology, written by theme lead and SDRC Executive Committee member Dr Mario Parra Rodriguez. Summary of the theme The...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2022/23

The SDRC Annual Report 2023, launched at the SDRC Annual Conference on Tuesday 25th April 2023. 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...

New SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Leah Macaden

Following the 2022 SDRC Executive Committee election, Dr Leah Macaden has been elected as a new member. Find out more in Leah's biography below. Dr Leah Macaden is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Edinburgh with a rich and diverse range of academic,...

SDRC Executive Committee Member: Dr Jennifer Macfarlane

In October 2022, the SDRC held our election to refresh the Executive Committee. We are now able to announce who was successfully voted. Jennifer Macfarlane has been a co-opted member of the SDRC Executive Committee since earlier this year, we are now delighted to...

Outgoing SDRC Chair: Professor Craig Ritchie Blog

Today, 10th October 2022, the SDRC will open nominations for researchers to join Executive Committee and for the position of Chair- members will receive an email to their inbox with further details. SDRC Chair, Professor Craig Ritchie is standing down. Please read...

SDRC Annual Report 2021/22: Informatics & Technology

The following is an excerpt of SDRC Annual Report 2021/22 which provides on overview of the research in the field of brain health Informatics & Technology, written by theme lead and SDRC Executive Committee member Dr Mario Parra Rodriguez. The SDRC is witnessing a...

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...

Hear more from researchers in our blog pages

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

The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice (ASCPP) has launched its Annual Celebration Report to showcase the work of the Centre and celebrate outstanding dementia care during the pandemic.  The ASCPP is led by Professor Debbie Tolson, one of our SDRC...

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...

The launch of the SDRC Annual Report 2019/20

The SDRC Annual Report 2019/20, launched on Monday 20th April, outlines what is new in dementia and brain health research in Scotland in the past 12 months. Once again, we are able to show the truly amazing quantity, quality and diversity of research happening...

Treating dementia, what’s next and how do we get there?

On the 21st September 2021, World Alzheimer's Day, Alzheimer Scotland held their annual conference. It was a virtual event which was attended by people with dementia, carers, practitioners and other members of the public from all over Scotland.  In the afternoon...

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

Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme: Award Announcement

The Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme has funded two projects during its 2023/4 round of applications. We are pleased to announce the team that were awarded the second of two awards is Dr Coco Newton from University College London and Prof Anja Maier from...

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...

Alzheimer Disease International Clinician Survey

This year Alzheimer's Disease International has commissioned McGill University, Montreal, Canada to produce this year's World Alzheimer Report on diagnosis, as well as the 2022 World Alzheimer Report on post-diagnostic support. The first of three surveys is now ready...

Take part in a research study: Remote Cognitive Testing Survey

The University of Oxford are looking for volunteers from Scotland to take part in a survey about the Impact of COVID-19 on cognitive testing  The Translational Neuropsychology Lab at the University of Oxford, are investigating the impacts of COVID-19 UK lockdown on...

The Ella Macgregor Award: Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme 2024

The Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme is excited to announce the first of two recipients of funding for 2024. This particular award, which will also be known as the Ella Macgregor Award, goes to the student Katie Robertson, supervised by a team led by Prof...

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.