Research for industry

The role of commercial research and clinical trials

We value the opportunity to be involved in worldwide research studies that are funded by pharmaceutical companies.  These studies are usually clinical trials that have the potential to make major breakthroughs in the treatment of long-term mental illness.

Our Dementia Research Unit focusses on drug development for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

We are currently conducting a number of industry-sponsored trials and has a growing reputation for setting up, carrying out and completing trials to the highest standard. We work with a range of leading pharmaceutical companies to develop breakthrough drugs that will ultimately improve services and care.

Alongside working with industry and academic partners, we believe that the people who use  NHS services and those who work in the NHS, should have the opportunity to take part in, and benefit from, research. If you would like to learn more about the type of research we do, attend events, or receive copies of our Research Magazine you might like to join our Research Network -it's our community of patients, staff and anyone interested in mental health research. To join our Research Network  click here.

If you you are interested in dementia research, please contact us at:

Dementia Research Unit
Grove House, South View Road, Crowborough, East Sussex TN6 1HB
Tel: 01892 603107

The Dementia Research Unit (formerly the Cognitive Treatment and Research Unit) offers patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. Most studies examine the effect and impact of new medications on the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, or look at the way in which current medications can be repurposed to help people with the disease. Most dementia clinical trials explore ways to reduce the damage that harmful proteins cause in the brain as the disease progresses with a view to slowing down and reducing the impact that dementia has on patient’s lives.

Patients are usually randomised into one of two groups and may receive a new treatment or a placebo. As part of the data collection process, we use questionnaires to ask patients about the impact that the disease has on everyday life, assess their memory and cognition, and also gather information from their carer. Although lots of safety data has already been gathered about new medications before they are used with research participants, most of our clinical studies are designed to include people in the early stages of their illness with quite mild symptoms, who are generally in good physical health. This is both to ensure patient’s safety and means that data collected is as unbiased as possible. Although some study visits can be conducted at home, most of our research requires patients to come to the clinic in Crowborough or Brighton on several occasions. Travel costs are reimbursed or we can book a taxi if this is more convenient. 

Dementia affects 850,000 people in the UK and it is hoped that research will help us find a cure. Some patients who volunteer say they are doing so to help improve treatments for future generations, as well as the potentially experiencing the benefits of new medications themselves. In addition, all of our study participants receive close physical health monitoring throughout the trials they take part in which usually includes regular blood tests, ECGs and sometimes tests such as MRI or PET scans. 

If you know someone who may be interested in taking part in a clinical trial,or would like to find out more about dementia research please contact us at or 01892 603107