The current research themes of the Dementia Research Collaborative (DRC) cover many different areas but can be divided into 3 main themes.
Our dementia care research encompasses various studies which investigate how to improve dementia care from a patient and carer perspective. Current studies are:
- Understanding difficulties in everyday tasks in dementia: This project investigates how brain symptoms such as memory, language skills, ability to process visual information, leads to problems in everyday function. This project also investigates, in parallel, how family carers compensate for these symptoms in supporting people to engage in everyday activities (Main contact: Prof. Eneida Mioshi)
- Improving quality of life for family carers: This project investigates factors that can enhance quality of life of family carers at different stages of dementia. The project aims to identify the needs of carers (e.g., their own needs for health care) as well as characteristics of the person they care for (e.g., behaviour symptoms) that are critical for improving quality of life (Main contacts: Prof. Eneida Mioshi, Dr Naoko Kishita)
- A Department of Health Policy Research Programme funded study evaluating dementia friendly communities in the UK. A dementia friendly community is an initiative that involves a wide range of people, organisations and geographical areas that aim to support people with dementia and their carers in the community. The evaluation is led by Professor Claire Goodman from the University of Hertfordshire and the UEA team includes Prof. Antony Arthur, Dr Anne Killett, Dr Chris Skedgel and Mr Michael Woodward. The project will investigate what needs to be in place for a community to become dementia friendly, how to measure the impact of a dementia friendly community, and will inform how future initiatives are approached and funded.
- Jason Corner is undertaking a doctoral study funded by CLAHRC East of England as part of a national programme to develop the next generation of dementia care research leaders. His study, supervised by Professor Antony Arthur and Bridget Penhale will design and pilot a personhood and citizenship training workshop for staff working in care homes where people with dementia are cared for.
- Priti Biswas is undertaking a funded doctoral study in dementia care. This study, supervised by Bridget Penhale and Professor Michael Hornberger examines the inclusion of informal carers in health and care integrated care models for people with dementia
The clinical psychology research stream focuses on how psychological behavioural therapies can improve patient’s symptoms and well-being and alleviate carer burden. Current studies are:
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for family carers – This project investigates whether practicing mindfulness and value-based behaviour change techniques can help carers improve their quality of life (Main contact: Dr Naoko Kishita)
The biomedical dementia research stream investigates more the underlying changes in the brain and other organs. This research informs therefore better diagnostic strategies for dementia and the development of future treatments. Current studies are:
- Spatial disorientation in dementia – This project investigates why dementia patients get lost and whether we can use this information to predict if someone is at high-risk of getting lost (Main contact: Prof. Michael Hornberger)
- Nutrition in pre-symptomatic and symptomatic dementia – Our project investigates how nutrition impacts on the development of dementia and how nutritional interventions can be used to delay the onset or disease progression in dementia (Main contact: Prof. Michael Hornberger)
- Gut-brain axis in dementia - Our project investigates how interactions between the brain and the gut change in health ageing and potentially impact the onset and progression of dementia (Main contact: Prof. Michael Hornberger)
- PERFECTED-NIHR - This 5 year programme is developing and testing an intervention to improve acute hospital outcome for people with cognitive impairment (Main contact: Prof. Chris Fox)
- ASCRIBED - A study which investigates how inflammation after hip fracture has an impact on the development of dementia (Main contact: Prof. Chris Fox)
- Serve Memory-NIHR - 4 year study testing if vascular dementia can be prevented by managing key risk (Main contact: Prof. John Potter)
- CADDY-HSDR - What are the outcomes of people with undiagnosed dementia?- review of national data (Main contact: Clare Aldus)
- ZED-HTA - Does sleeping medication harm or benefit people with dementia?- review of national data (Main contact: Prof. Chris Fox)
- ABCD - Alzheimers society study - Does medication harm with anticholinergic effects cause dementia? - review of national data (Main contact: Dr Kathryn Richardson)
- More information on the ABCD and ZED-HTA studies can be found at the Drug Safety & Dementia research website
- Anticholinergic medication and dementia risk leaflet (The leaflet is aimed at health care professionals, in particular prescribers and pharmacists and should not be used for personal use. The leaflet was produced by the Prevention Task and Finish group of the Dementia Strategy Implementation Board on behalf of Norfolk's Health and Wellbeing Board).