The UK Government has authorised a £49.9m investment to establish a nationwide network aimed at enhancing dementia research.

This initiative is expected to broaden the participation of individuals with dementia in early-phase clinical trials, regardless of their location within the UK.

University College London Hospitals (UCLH) will coordinate the network, which will unite collaborators from across the UK to develop skills and capabilities in initial-stage dementia trial sites.

This collaboration is part of the government’s broader strategy to boost the diagnosis and treatment of dementia and neurodegenerative ailments.

UCLH chief executive David Probert said: “UCLH is delighted and excited to be hosting and co-ordinating the Trials Network. I know our experienced dementia research teams look forward to working with our colleagues across the UK to widen access and help build capacity for dementia trials.

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“For UCLH to take a lead on expanding research, can only benefit our patients by developing expertise, better care and opening up research opportunities.”

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) will enhance capacity in early-phase dementia studies across the country through the Dementia Translational Research Collaboration (D-TRC) and the newly established Trials Network (D-TRC-TN).

The network’s operational phase will include a straightforward process for choosing trial sites.

UCL Dementia Research Centre clinical trials head Dr Cath Mummery will serve as the director of the new network, which aims to offer people with dementia the chance to participate in groundbreaking research.

The coordinating centre will accept membership applications in the D-TRC-TN while simultaneously enhancing expertise at each member site to maximise function.

Dr Mummery said: “We are at a historic point in dementia research with disease-modifying therapies emerging.

“We must seize momentum, working across the UK with partners and industry, world-class researchers, and patient representatives to build expertise, capacity and support in a unified network of trial sites.”