There is clear evidence that the dementia research field has grown since 2008.

Dementia research in the UK has increased the most compared to research in other countries, and compared to other disease fields in the UK.  However, while progress has been made, the dementia research outputs and capacity remain dwarfed in comparison to the high economic burden of the condition.

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

The graph below shows the change in the numbers of UK researchers in different disease areas between 2008/09 and 2014/15.

It shows the progress which has been made but highlights the vast differences in resources between dementia and other disease areas.

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

This graph shows the number of researchers in the UK for every £1 million of disease costs in 2008/09 and 2014/15. Dementia has far fewer researchers for the same cost as cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease.

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

This graph shows the change in the number of dementia researchers in several of the most productive medical research nations.

The number of dementia researchers is rising around the world as a result of increased awareness of the impact of dementia and the growing numbers of people with the condition.

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

This graph shows the percentage change in the numbers of dementia researchers across these nations between 2008/09 and 2014/15.

Source: Keeping pace: Progress in dementia research capacity (2017) Alzheimer’s Research UK Research Paper Evaluation

Source: Marjanovic, S et al (2015) A Review of the Dementia Research Landscape and Workforce Capacity in the United Kingdom by RAND Europe funded by the Alzheimer’s Society

A recent report by RAND Europe looked at the behaviour of dementia researchers found that PhD graduate researchers are unlikely to stay in the field.

This is down to a variety of different factors from the lack of funding opportunities to remain in the field, poor career progression and limited resources for clinical research and training.

Participating in dementia research

To help increase the number of people participating in dementia research, the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society established Join Dementia Research.

Source: NIHR CRN High Level Objectives Year End Performance Report – 2015/16 by the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network

Source: Join Dementia Research (extracted 15/02/2017)

Life sciences industry

The life sciences industry is a major provider of funding, employment and infrastructure in the UK and is a vital part of the dementia research capacity environment.

Source: Business enterprise research and development, UK: 2015; Office of National Statistics

Source: Strength and Opportunity 2015 The landscape of the medical technology, medical biotechnology, pharmaceutical and industrial biotechnology sectors in the UK; Office of Life Sciences and UK Trade and Investment