What is Dementias Platform UK?

Dementias Platform UK (DPUK) is a world-leading resource for person-focused dementias research designed to fast-track scientific understanding, treatments and the prevention of the disease.

Established by the Medical Research Council (MRC) in June 2014, it is a £53 million collaboration between universities and pharmaceutical companies to transform the best dementia research into the best treatments as quickly as possible.

It combines the power of different types of population study to compare healthy people with people at all stages of dementias and can be used to look at how this is affected by other conditions that people may have.

We actively encourage leading researchers to work together, giving them better access to the wealth of information on health and lifestyle through huge population studies, and arming them with the latest technology, to scan the body and brain and analyse tests.

It also spearheads ‘experimental medicine’ research, which are ‘first in human’ studies, testing out new treatments, new devices, improvements in diagnoses for the first time in people and also looking at repurposing drugs – trying out treatments which are already on the market, but used for a different condition, to see how they might benefit those with dementia. DPUK forms a central pillar in the delivery of the UK Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia.

What will DPUK do?

  • We will look for ways to delay the onset of dementia by changes in lifestyle and treating conditions that increase the risk of developing dementia.
  • We will look for ways to alleviate symptoms to improve the quality of life of those living with dementia.
  • We will look for treatments to slow or halt the progression of the diseases.

Our Approach

DPUK coordinates 15 work packages, across three unique networks and three Experimental Medicine themes, involving hundreds of researchers across the UK and beyond.

These activities will:

  • Provide a gateway to scientists to share data from over 2 million study volunteers from over 30 UK population studies.
  • Set up state-of-the-art research networks in brain imaging, stem cells, and informatics to coordinate the best possible science.
  • Establish a programme of ‘first in human’, experimental clinical studies to find out which treatments hold the most promise.

We will find out:

  • How and why brain cells die and what can prevent this
  • How our genes and lifestyle interact to cause dementia
  • How the brain is affected by what goes on in the rest of the body.

We will develop new ways of:

  • Using brain scans to detect very small brain changes
  • Using blood markers to predict and monitor early cognitive changes
  • Using tests to detect early changes in memory and thinking.

We will support dementia research more widely through:

  • Providing rich experimental datasets to the research community
  • Providing research tools and samples to scientists
  • Encouraging brain donation to UK Brain Banks Network.

We will help people:

  • Get involved in dementia research
  • Live well and make the most of their minds
  • Understand what happens when we get dementia.



Find out more about Dementias Platform UK

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