Harpenden woman leads the way in dementia research

Harpenden researcher Dr Frances Bunn, University of Hertforshire, is leading a study into dementia

Harpenden researcher Dr Frances Bunn, University of Hertforshire, is leading a study into dementia - Credit: Pete Stevens

A HARPENDEN researcher is part of a team leading two of 21 Government-funded projects into dementia research, to boost diagnosis rates and trial ground-breaking treatments.

The University of Hertfordshire’s Centre for Research into Primary and Community Care is leading the two projects, part of the Government’s £22 million investment into dementia research.

Dr Frances Bunn, of Harpenden, is leading a research project on how to improve healthcare for people with dementia who also have additional conditions such as stroke, diabetes or visual impairment.

She is a senior research fellow in evidence-based practice and has worked at the university’s primary and community care research centre for over 10 years.

Dr Bunn said: “Many people with dementia have additional long-term health problems which, if not managed well, can make a person’s dementia worse or lead to unplanned hospital admissions.

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“We will be looking at how this affects how people access services, how their needs are assessed and how they are supported over time.”

The second study, led by Dr Daksha Trivedi, will delve into how to best manage behavioural and psychological symptoms of people living at home with dementia – symptoms such as becoming aggressive or agitated, wandering, becoming upset or distressed.

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More than 670,000 people in England have some form of dementia, and this is set to double in the next 30 years.

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