Join CPFT research making a difference for dementia

On World Alzheimer’s Day today (21 September) dementia researchers at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) are calling for volunteers to join studies to learn more about the condition and trial new treatments.

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Currently, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and this will increase to 1 million by 2025 and 2 million by 2050. September 2021 marks the tenth year of the global World Alzheimer’s Month campaign to raise awareness of dementia and what people can do to help beat it.

Research teams across the region work with thousands of volunteers every year to bring new treatments to NHS patients and translate the latest scientific discoveries into health and care services.

Dr Ben Underwood leads some of these teams as honorary consultant psychiatrist and Clinical Director of CPFT’s Windsor Research Unit, and Dementia Speciality Lead for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network Eastern.

Ben said: “With someone in the UK developing dementia every three minutes, support for research has never been so important to help us fight this disease. Research is vital to improve diagnosis, treatment and care for people with dementia now, and in the future. Our studies are only made possible by people volunteering to take part, and we need everyone to spread the word about research opportunities as we recover from the pandemic.

“We’ve learned a lot from research during Covid-19 about how to run clinical trials quickly and safely, and make participating in studies more convenient for people and their carers living at home, with remote technology. Many of our studies at CPFT restarted as soon as it was safe to work with dementia patients again and we have a number of projects running to get involved in, from surveys, online training and therapy sessions to larger scale drug trials.”

Current dementia research opportunities at CPFT are listed here

Studies include PATHFINDER which is testing a new form of talking therapy to help people with dementia and their carers manage depressive symptoms, and HOMESIDE which is exploring how reading and music activities can help dementia patients and carers at home, over a twelve week virtual programme. CPFT is also running ground-breaking brain scanning studies and clinical trials with the University of Cambridge and Gnodde Goldman Sachs Translational Neuroscience Group.


To find out more about dementia research and opportunities in the eastern region, residents are invited to meet dementia researchers at the World Alzheimer’s Day webinar today at 4-6pm, with NIHR CRN Eastern and CPFT. Register for a free ticket and joining details here:  

CPFT is a top performer in the East of England for recruitment to dementia studies. NICE recommends that all people with dementia should be provided with information on research studies they could participate in. Local residents interested in participating in dementia studies can contact the Trust’s Windsor Research Unit on 01223 219531


The NIHR supports research into all areas of dementias and neurodegenerative disease and provides opportunities for people affected these conditions and their families and carers to influence and take part in research. The NIHR’s Join Dementia Research service helps to match you to studies you may be able to take part in, both online, nationally and in your local area. If you register as a volunteer, you will be connected with dementia researchers across the UK and hear about suitable studies as soon as they open, with no obligation to take part.


Anyone over 18 with or without a diagnosis can sign up to Join Dementia Research at:


Find out more about local NIHR dementia research at:

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