Edinburgh Dementia Prevention
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What research involves

Find out what research is, what it involves, and what the experience of research can be like

What is research? 

Researchers are trained academic and clinical staff who want to find out the answers to specific questions. At EDP our research revolves around dementia and brain health, where we try to find out why some people get dementia and other don't. We also want to answer what causes poor brain health and increases a person's risk for dementia. We may also run clinical trials where a new drug is trialled on participants to see if it is safe and if it works.


Lady talking on the telephone
What does research involve?

The type of thing our research particpants are asked to do will depend on the specific study, and the specific research questions that are being addressed.  Some studies might involve only one visit or even just a telephone call. Other studies might involve several visits or even last several years. The research team for each study will always inform you or what is involved and for how long the study lasts. This is information is typically written down in Participant Information Sheets. These are important doc uments that particpants must read before consenting to a research study.


What are some of the things you might do in a research study?

Whilst research can involve almost anything, including new technologies and drugs, the most common study tasks are outlined below.

  • Questionnaires
  • Memory and thinking tests
  • Blood tests
  • EEG scans
  • MRI, CT, and PET scans
  • Lumbar punctures
  • Medicines
  • Eye tracking
  • Virtual reality


DPUK Scanner
What if there are things you don't want to do?

There may be certin tasks that are necessary for the research study to go ahead. A study invistigating brain changes may require the participant to undergo MRI scans for example. By reading the participant infomration sheets before taking part in the study you will know exactly what is involved and you can decide if you want to take part or not.

In all studies you are free to leave at any point if you no longer like the procedures you are being asked to do.   


Is research confidential?

Yes. Unless you have a specific agreement in place where you are willing to share your data, name or anything else, your data and details are held securely. Each participant information sheet will outline what confidentiality procedures are in place. Typically these might involve giving you a unique identification number, keeping your data in locked cabinets or on secure digital servers, and only allowing access to your data  to the specific research team. At EDP we are governed by GDPR as well as national and local policies on confidentiality.


What is it like to take part in research? A research participant perspective

Whilst the experience of research may be different for different people, many people find the experience rewarding. Watch the video below where a participant shares his experience of taking part in one of the studies carried out at EDP