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

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...

Research Study: Bladder and bowel care with people living with dementia

Emily Thomson, a PhD student from Glasgow Caledonian University, is recruiting for a study to understand the experiences of people living with dementia around their bladder and bowel health. Please see the below request from Emily and get in touch directly if you...

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...

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,...

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

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

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,...

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...

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

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...

Funding Opportunity: Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme

Alzheimer Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of the Student Research Programme. Alzheimer Scotland, with support of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC), is establishing a new research programme, which will fund studentships for projects for...

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...

Research Study: Evaluate a support resource for carers

A research team has developed an online support tool for carers of people with dementia. They are looking for volunteers to evaluate this tool. Find out more information on how to get involved in this study below.  iSupport is an internet-based support package for...

Research Study: Travel choices by people with dementia when they are reported missing

PhD Student Alistair Shields from Queen Margaret University is recruiting volunteers for a research study on understanding why people living with dementia choose to go where they go when they travel. Find out more about Alistair's research and how to get involved...

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...

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,...

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

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,...

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...

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

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...

Funding Opportunity: Alzheimer Scotland Student Research Programme

Alzheimer Scotland is pleased to announce the launch of the Student Research Programme. Alzheimer Scotland, with support of the Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (SDRC), is establishing a new research programme, which will fund studentships for projects for...

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...

Research Study: Evaluate a support resource for carers

A research team has developed an online support tool for carers of people with dementia. They are looking for volunteers to evaluate this tool. Find out more information on how to get involved in this study below.  iSupport is an internet-based support package for...

Research Study: Travel choices by people with dementia when they are reported missing

PhD Student Alistair Shields from Queen Margaret University is recruiting volunteers for a research study on understanding why people living with dementia choose to go where they go when they travel. Find out more about Alistair's research and how to get involved...

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...

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,...

Read the latest SDRC Annual Report

We're here for all dementia research in Scotland

The Scottish Dementia Research Consortium celebrates and supports all dementia research taking place across the country. We are a membership organisation including researchers, healthcare professionals, people living with dementia and anyone else with an interest in research. 

Hear more from researchers in our blog pages

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...

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...

RCPsych Awards 2021: Nominations for Dr Tom Russ and Dr Lucy Stirland

At the SDRC, we are always excited when we can share success of dementia and brain health researchers working in Scotland. We'd like to offer our congratulations to Dr Lucy Stirland and SDRC Executive Committee Member Dr Tom Russ for their recent nominations for a...

Edinburgh Dementia Prevention Summer School 2022

Edinburgh Dementia Prevention are hosting a brain health summer school on Monday 26 September - Thursday 29 September 2022, at St Leonard's Hall, Edinburgh. It is is a 4-day interactive course designed principally for trainee and qualified clinicians, nurses and...

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...

National Workshops- Patient Public Involvement

NHS Research Scotland (NRS) has funded a small bid from the Universities of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow to run some Patient Public Involvement (PPI) Workshops. The idea of the workshops is to have a collective dialogue about how we progress PPI in...

Professor John Starr: A tribute

We're deeply saddened to hear that Professor John Starr has passed away. Prof Starr supported our work for many years as an Alzheimer Scotland Trustee, and as the Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh....

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...

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,...

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...

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.