There is evidence that certain subgroups of the population have a higher risk of developing dementia than others. Aside from the most important risk factor—age,—other risk factors include ethnicity, sex, learning disability and socio-economic status. This report by the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) details the impact of scientific research on health inequalities for people affected by dementia. In order to make sure dementia diagnosis and treatments are effective for everyone, we need to understand how and why different groups are affected differently, so that we can target interventions where they are most needed and maximise their benefit.
The report was produced by leading dementia scientists from the UK DRI who are taking action to reduce health inequalities through their own research. This includes:
- Researching “blood biomarkers” to pave the way for a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
- Ensuring both male and female mice are used equally in animal research so that findings can be applied to the whole population. This is policy across the UK DRI.
- Broadening understanding of the implications of ethnicity on risk of Alzheimer’s disease through genetic studies.
- Working to make clinical trials more accessible to all.
- Pioneering accessible, scalable, and affordable new therapies.
- Investigating rarer forms of dementia to plug the knowledge gap and support people living with these diseases.
- Addressing the environmental and lifestyle factors that impact brain health to better understand the link between socio-economic status and dementia risk.