Here you will find frequently asked questions relating to Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), if you have any further queries then please contact us.
DPUK is an enabling platform designed to accelerate the development of new treatments by facilitating the conduct of highly informative and highly targeted clinical studies, including trials. To achieve this DPUK has three core utilities:
DPUK is made up of a collection of university and industry partners brought together through a consortium agreement to fast-track scientific understanding, treatments and the prevention of the dementias.
Dementia is one of the UK’s most challenging health problems and is a huge burden on our health and care services. The numbers of people with dementia are expected to double in the next 30 years and predicted costs likely to treble to over £50 billion. The country is facing one of the biggest global health and social care challenges and more research needs to be done to help fight this growing problem. The Medical Research Council created Dementias Platform UK as a new way of researching the disease. They felt a collaborative approach was needed and wanted to utilise the wealth of population studies in the UK to help accelerate progress in beating this disease. DPUK also helps to meet the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020.
DPUK began in June 2014, with official launch events taking place in October 2014. The project will run for five years initially, concluding June 2019. The infrastructure, resources and technologies will continue to be used for Dementia research for many years after the end of DPUK.
We will look for ways to delay the onset of dementia by changes in lifestyle and treating conditions that increase dementia risk. We will look for ways to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life. In the longer term, we will look for treatments that can be used as soon as problems are detected to delay or prevent the disease progressing. To see how we are progressing, see our publications, newsletters and reports.
The Platform represents an initial investment of £53 million from the MRC.
With the support of DPUK, through our networks and utilising our infrastructure, researchers have been successful with competitive grants from a range of funders, for example:
DPUK will spend the majority of their funds building a dementia research infrastructure for the UK. We are establishing state-of-the-art research networks in brain imaging, stem cells, and informatics to create and coordinate the best science. We are also building a programme of experimental medicine studies to find out what works in treating dementia and why.
DPUK is governed by an Oversight Board, independently appointed by the MRC and decisions are made by the Executive Team. We are also guided by a Scientific Steering Group and advised by International Experts.
Our official university partners are currently: Cambridge, Oxford, University College London (UCL), Imperial College, Kings College London, Manchester, MRC-BSU, Newcastle, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Swansea. The University of Oxford is the lead institution for the project.
We are also working with the University of Bristol through our Research Networks.
Our current industry partners are: GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Research & Development, AstraZeneca-MedImmune, Ixico, SomaLogic and Araclon.
We welcome new industry partners and academic collaborators. Please visit our Get Involved page for more details.
DPUK has a strong global voice, connected and integrated within the dementia research ecosystem in Europe and beyond. To find out more please visit our Global Connections page.
A cohort study is a study which works with a specific group of people to understand how health and wellbeing change over time.
Cohort Studies help researchers gather in-depth information about the factors which affect our health, and how these can change and interact over time. Cohort studies are particularly important to understand the impact of lifestyle, behaviour and environmental factors which cannot easily be studied using other methods. Because cohort studies involve a broad range of people, they are useful in the development of national health strategies across the population. To find out more, please visit our Cohorts Overview page.
DPUK comprises a diverse range of clinical and population cohorts including deeply phenotyped familial disease cohorts, birth cohorts, mature population cohorts and large scale population cohorts. These cohorts provide a breadth and depth of data that is not available elsewhere. The utility of DPUK for data sharing is not limited to dementia and there is growing interest in using the platform for other outcomes. The ability of the DPUK analysis environment to conduct centralised pooled data analyses (in contrast to distributed analyses) is attracting interest from cohorts beyond the UK.
We have over 30 UK cohort studies involved in DPUK. To see the full list, please visit our Cohort Directory.
DPUK takes the issue of data protection very seriously. The health information held about study volunteers from the population studies participating in DPUK is protected and subject to the highest levels of ethics and data security. To find out more please visit our Data Security page.
We are not recruiting people directly for studies but will be making use of over 30 existing cohort studies. If you are interested in participating in dementias research you can sign up to receive details of relevant studies. Visit our Get Involved page for more information.
If you are already registered with a cohort, then please look out for calls for further studies and research, as this data will form a valuable part of DPUK.
At DPUK we offer “seed corn” funding for an Experimental Medicine programme, aiming to open the door to early phase trials that are highly informative and cost-effective. If you wish to know more about how to apply please visit our Experimental Medicine pages. You can also find out about other available funding on our Research Grants page.
In the Data Portal you will find a comparison tool to assist you to identify cohorts that may be relevant to your study. You will be able to see what data has been collected by the cohorts, for example, socio-economic data, biological data and so on. There is also a cohort profile page for each cohort giving more detail about each variable that they collect, together with copies of our related procedures and study application forms. You will need to complete the study application process to access cohort data.
You can regularly check this website for all our latest news. If you would like to receive our regular newsletter you can send us your details via our Contact form, and we will add your details to our mailing list. You can also follow us on Twitter @DementiasUK.
You can keep up to date with all of our events and other events relating to dementia through our interactive events calendar that we have on the website. You can also follow us on Twitter @DementiasUK.