To mark World Alzheimer’s Day on Saturday 21 September 2013, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, has released a new short film which hopes to encourage more patients and carers to take part in ground-breaking research into dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Dementia affects around 820,000 people in the UK – a figure that is expected to rise to one million people by 2021. Over the past two years the National Institute for Health Research has put millions of pounds of extra investment into supporting clinical research into dementia. There are many types of dementia, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease.

The film, which opens with the startling fact “that every three minutes someone develops dementia”, highlights the desperate need for more research into diagnosis, care, preventions and treatments of the condition. It follows Morag, who was recently diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer’s disease, and her husband and carer John as they embark on their journey into research.

Speaking about the release of the film, Martin Rossor, Director of the NIHR Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Research Network said:

“Research has a critical role to play in improving patient care and treatment. We hope this video shows what it’s like to be part of a clinical research study. Morag and John are just two of the 16,000 people that took part in dementia-related research over the last year and we hope that their story encourages even more people to get involved in research.”

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, said:

“People with dementia and their carers are an important part of the research effort because they are experts on their own condition. By volunteering to help with research studies, people with and without dementia can help us gain a better insight into what causes dementia and how we can develop new approaches to prevention and treatment.”

The film ‘Taking part in dementia research’ is available to view via the NIHR’s YouTube channel or via, a new online resource launched at the end of August to mark the start of World Alzheimer’s month.

You can watch the film by clicking here.