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Dementia Research

Help us use the latest MRI scanning technology to find ways to diagnose dementia earlier. 

Dementia is one of the major health issues of our era. It can transform loved ones from healthy, independent people into individuals who struggle with basic tasks and need constant care.  

Here at The University of Nottingham, we have a unique opportunity to use our leading expertise and equipment to undertake innovative new research into dementia.

As the home of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), we have the chance to use the most advanced scanning technology to better understand how this devastating disease affects the brain. 

Can you help us raise £350,000 to continue our innovative research and recruit two new research posts?

Together, we can find ways to diagnose dementia earlier and boost the effectiveness of treatments.

Dementia Research Infographic - One in three of us will have a friend or loved one affected by dementia.  Dementia research receives 1/12th of the funding devoted to cancer.


What is our research about?

We are the only UK university using Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) to research dementia. This technology is ten thousand times more sensitive than conventional MRI scanning, meaning that we can detect never-seen-before changes happening within the brain. 

Currently, we can only diagnose dementia once damage to the brain has started. DNP technology gives us the opportunity to look for the minute chemical changes that occur first. If we can pick up these early signs, we can give treatment before the disease develops

We believe DNP could offer a breakthrough in dementia research. It has the potential to pave the way towards developing tests for earlier diagnosis and move us one step closer towards developing treatments that can be tailored to the needs of individual patients.  

What else are we doing?

The first MRI scanner was developed at our University in 1976 by an expert team led by Sir Peter Mansfield, who won the Nobel prize for Medicine in 2003. Since those early days, we have continued to lead the world in developing MRI technology as a diagnostic medical tool.

MRI isn't the only area of dementia research where we are a leading institution. 21 of the 22 genes which are linked to dementia have been discovered by our researchers in collaboration with others. While we search for a cure, we also know the need to care for those already suffering from the condition is stronger than ever. 

It's why we also work closely with healthcare services to bring academics and practitioners together through our Institute of Mental Health (IMH) - all with a focus on improving care and quality of life.  


Tom's story 

“My dad was very active, full of life. Yet within a few years, we had lost the person we loved. He was completely different by the time he died from dementia in 2014. We didn’t get a diagnosis fast enough – when we did it was too little, much too late. Early diagnosis is key – I don't want anyone else to go through the same as us” 

Tom Wicks, Maths PhD student

 Tom Wicks

How you can help

We need to raise £350,000 to continue this innovative research and recruit two new research posts. Can you help?  

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