Old age psychiatry research locations 

Below is a list of institutions involved in old age psychiatry research.

If you would like to include your institution on this page, please email oldage@rcpsych.ac.uk

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Old age psychiatry research is based within the Centre for Dementia Studies (CDS) at BSMS and led by Professor Sube Banerjee and Dr Naji Tabet.

The CDS is a joint venture between BSMS and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Its programme of work in applied health research, education and policy is designed to improve the quality of life of people with dementia by improving the quality of care they receive.

Good-quality dementia research, like good quality dementia care, requires multi-disciplinary and inter-agency working, with patients and carers at the core. The CDS therefore works in collaboration with partners, including the Universities of Brighton and Sussex, patient and carer groups, primary care providers, Health Education England, CCGs, acute NHS trusts, local authority social service departments, private care providers, other universities nationally and internationally, and any other organisation that shares our vision and can help us. 

Research interests include clinical trials (e.g. SYMBAD), the measurement of quality of life and quality of care (e.g. DEMQOL and C-DEMQOL), service development and evaluation (e.g. Orange Clinic), and novel educational development and research to meet the challenges of long term conditions such as dementias (e.g. Time for Dementia).

Key members of the group include:

  • Prof Sube Banerjee
  • Dr Naji Tabet
  • Dr Gosia Raczak
  • Dr Stephanie Daley
  • Dr Nick Farina.

For further information please contact: Prof Banerjee

Old Age Psychiatry research is based within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge and led by Professor John O’Brien. We are part of the Cambridge NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Dementia and Neurodegeneration theme and have close links with over key groups including the ARUK Drug Discovery Centre, the Dementia Research Institute, the Cambridge Brain Bank, the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBU) and the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre. There are excellent laboratory and imaging facilities available, including access to MEG/EEG, PET-MR, 3T and 7T MR scanners, as well as an internationally renowned radiochemistry group with several ligands locally produced for dementia work.

Our research interests include the application of brain imaging (MR, PET, MEG and EEG) to mental disorders in later life, studies (both mechanistic and therapeutic) in dementia with Lewy bodies and defining the role of vascular factors in dementia and depression. We also have studies ongoing using anonymised e-records and we undertake a wide range of clinical trials, especially through the Windsor Research Unit which is sited within CPFT Trust.

Key members of the group include:

  • Professor John O’Brien, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry
  • Assistant Professor Ben Underwood, Assistant Professor of Old Age Psychiatry
  • Dr Li Su, Principle Senior Research Associate
  • Dr Annabel Price, Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry
  • Dr Leonidas Chouliaras, Consultant in Psychiatry
  • Dr Elijah Mak, Research Associate
  • Dr Marialena Dounavi, Research Associate

Further information

For further information please contact Professor John O’Brien, either directly or through his PA (oap@medschl.cam.ac.uk).

The Department of Old Age Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience is led by Professor Dag Aarsland, who also leads the Dementia and related disorders Biomedical Research Centre. Our research is spanning clinical, translational, basic neuroscience and population science approaches.

The Department is closely integrated with the Mental Health of Older Adults and Dementia Clinical Academic Group of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and we maintain strong links with King’s Health Partners, the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, and the Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute.

Research specialisms include Lewy body diseases (dementia with Lewy bodies, Parkinson’s disease), visual perceptual disorders, biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as novel approaches in the use of electronic health records in dementia epidemiology. Key resources include the 10/66 Research Group dataset, the largest community study of dementia, the Care Home Research Network, the PROTECT study and the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) system, which is internationally unique in its size and depth of real-world clinical data and novel linkages.

Key members of the group include:

At  Newcastle University old age psychiatry research is internationally leading in dementia with Lewy bodies and this forms a major theme of our Biomedical Research Centre.

We have established research interests in other dementias and late-life depression with close links to Newcastle Brain Bank, our MRI and PET centres and the Clinical Ageing Research Unit where we carry out clinical trials. 

Our research interests include:

  • Neuropathological correlates in dementia
  • Clinical features and biomarkers especially in dementia with Lewy bodies
  • MRI and PET correlates
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Clinical trials
  • Late-life depression. 

Key members of the group include:

  • Professor Ian McKeith
  • Professor Alan Thomas
  • Dr John Paul Taylor
  • Dr Bob Barber
  • Dr Paul Donaghy.

Related links

Further information

For further information email Professor Thomas

The Psychiatry of Ageing research at the University of Edinburgh is centred predominantly around the Dementia Prevention Research Group which is based within the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences and Department of Psychiatry and led by Professor Craig Ritchie.

It has close links within Edinburgh to the Dementia Research Institute (led by Prof Giles Hardingham) and the Alzheimer’s Scotland Dementia Research Centre (led by Prof John Starr and Dr Tom Russ).

The work in Edinburgh almost exclusively on Brain Health and Dementia Prevention and has at its foundation two major research projects led from Edinburgh, namely the PREVENT Dementia and EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia) Programme. These programmes link Edinburgh to major academic centres across the UK and Europe.

There are also specific links through the  Scottish Dementia Research Consortium   to other Scottish Research Institutions especially around informatics and e-health that Edinburgh leads on via the Scottish Dementia Informatics Platform and recently established Scottish Brain Health Register.

Research interests are the translational epidemiology of preclinical and prodromal neurodegenerative diseases, clinical trials and (inherent to these two major themes) risk disclosure and research into participant engagement. 

Key members of the group include

  • Prof Craig Ritchie (Psychiatry of Ageing)
  • Dr Graciela Muniz-Terrera (Statistics)
  • Dr Tom Russ (Old Age psychiatry)
  • Prof Karen Ritchie (Epidemiology and neuropsychology)
  • Dr Riccardo Marioni (Genetics and statistics). 

For further information email Prof Richie.

Individuals in Scotland carrying out research

Eric Jackson - Primary research interests: Dementia and delirium

Andrew Donaldson - Dementia research: medication trials for Alzheimer’s disease; early onset dementia genetics trial.


We are located in University College London, floor 6, Maple House, 149 Tottenham Court Rd, W1T 7NF. 

Research interests

Dementia, depression and psychosis 

Cohort and electronic health records and epidemiology

UCL houses several longitudinal cohort studies (Whitehall, 1946) electronic clinical notes (CRIS) from the local trusts and train in managing large complex datasets and statistical analysis. 

Experimental medicine and randomised controlled trials

We are part of a BRU and basic science research is followed by intervention work. We have a unique record of developing and testing complex interventions in dementia. This usually involves systematic reviews and qualitative work as part of the development and working with a Clinical Trials Unit. 

Systematic reviews and meta-analysis

We have expertise in systematic reviews and use them to inform interventions e.g. hearing loss and the risk of dementia 

Research training

We have a successful and supportive academic peer group of ACFs at UCL, with a high success rate gaining externally funded doctoral fellowships. We also run MScs in psychiatric research and dementia research

Grant funding

We hold grants from ESRC/NIHR/MRC/Wellcome/Alzheimer's Society/Alzheimer's Research UK and Dunhill. We led the 2017 Lancet commission on dementia prevention, intervention and care and are leading a new update commission for 2019.

UCL is the UK leader in dementia research with the UK Dementia Research Institute (£250M) to deliver step changes in dementia research. UCL has Europe's greatest concentration of academics across dementia and neurodegeneration and of cited dementia papers.  

Key members of the group include

Gill Livingston, Rob Howard, Claudia Cooper, Sergi Costafreda, Suzanne Reeves 

For further information

Please contact Gill Livingston


The Institute of Mental Health is a partnership between the University of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

The IMH building is located on the University's Jubilee Campus. Within the IMH, the Centre for Dementia is one of the research areas across mental health.

Research interests

Services for people with dementia including psychosocial interventions, cognitive stimulation therapy, crisis services and

  • Services for people with dementia including psychosocial interventions, cognitive stimulation therapy, crisis services
  • Dementia and technology
  • Dementia and the arts
  • Dementia and hearing
  • Epidemiology of dementia and other disorders in old age
  • Dementia with Lewy bodies
  • Computational approaches to diagnosis
  • Redox mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Alcohol and substance misuse among older people

Key members of the group

  • Prof Martin Orrell (Director of IMH)
  • Prof Tom Dening
  • Prof Justine Schneider
  • Prof Blossom Stephan
  • Prof Marcus Kaiser
  • Prof David Challis
  • Associate Prof Anto Rajamani
  • Assistant Prof Katy Jones
  • Assistant Prof Jen Yates
  • Dr Mike Craven
  • Dr Mattéa Finelli
  • Dr Akram Hosseini
  • Dr Orii McDermott

Further information

Please contact Tom Dening:

Our research into inflammation in dementia at the University of Southampton is world leading. We have developed the innovative concept that systemic inflammation drives neurodegenerative disease and have extended these ideas to innovative clinical treatments. We were the first in the world to implement clinical trials research using amyloid vaccines in Alzheimer’s disease and the first to publish the biological consequences with papers in Nature and the Lancet. In recent years, we have published positive data on the modulatory role of TNFα inhibitors in Alzheimer’s disease, the first randomised placebo-controlled trial in this area.

Clinical trials work in dementia and mild cognitive impairment is conducted at the Memory Assessment Research Centre (MARC) in Southampton, led by Prof Clive Holmes, Dr Brady McFarlane and Dr Jay Amin. MARC has been awarded grant funding from various commercial and non-commercial organisations (e.g. ARUK, Alzheimer’s Society, MRC) to conduct these trials.

We have close links with University Hospitals Southampton, where Dr Osman-Hicks has developed a new enhanced dementia care ward, in conjunction with the medicine for older people department. Dr Osman-Hicks’ research interests include service improvement in dementia care and treatment resistant depression in older people.

The Academic Old Age Psychiatry department in Southampton is interdisciplinary with an emphasis on translational research that bridges the gap between basic science and the development of new treatments and biomarkers.

Key members of the group include:

  • Prof Clive Holmes, Professor of Biological Psychiatry
  • Dr Vicki Osman-Hicks, Honorary Senior Lecturer in Old Age Psychiatry
  • Dr Brady McFarlane, Co-director of Memory Assessment and Research Centre
  • Dr Jay Amin, Associate Professor in Psychiatry of Older Age

For further information, please contact  Dr Jay Amin 

A number of Scottish NHS sites provide opportunities for involvement in clinical research under the auspices of NHS Research Scotland's Neuroprogressive Disorders and Dementia Research Network (NDN). NDN have staff working in most mainland Health Boards in Scotland so if you are a trainee you should be able to access one of the hubs locally. 

Sites provide opportunities to engage in all aspects of clinical trial work including the opportunities to learn what goes on in the background, thus fulfilling the requirements of the Higher Trainee Research Induction Framework and HLO9 of the new Curriculum. Support can also be given to trainees wishing to develop their own protocols for research.

Dementia and Cognition studies

The majority of the portfolio of NDN research is comprised of clinical trials, many of which are sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry. For example our sites contributed significantly to recruitment to the Aducanumab studies, but also provided a substantial portion of recruits to the European Program for the Prevention of Alzheimer's Dementia (EPAD) which was sponsored by the University of Edinburgh and led by Prof Craig Ritchie. We also have links with the Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Research Centre led by Dr Tom Russ.

Examples of current dementia-related trials being supported by the NDN are those involving Aducanumab in people with MCI or mild Alzheimer's disease or trials relating to Gantenerumab which include a forthcoming trial recruiting people at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. These trials involve detailed cognitive testing, structured questionnaires, interviews, physical and neurological exams, blood testing, MRI scans and amyloid PET scans, with opportunities for trainees to develop skills in each of these areas. Other studies not involving drugs are evaluating digital technology for patient-related outcomes and the utility and usability of portable EEG and tablet-based assessments.

Neuroprogressive disorder studies

The NDN portfolio extends beyond dementia studies and covers the areas of Parkinson's disease, Motor Neuron Disease, Huntington's disease and Multiple Sclerosis, ensuring that a wide range of experience relevant to psychiatrists working with older people. Examples of trials in Parkinson’s disease include CHIEF-PD assessing the influence of Rivastigmine on falls and PADOVA which assesses a potential disease-modifying drug; an adaptive platform clinical trial in Motor Neuron Disease; and long-term studies in Huntington’s disease  It may be possible to combine work on studies in these clinical areas with a special interest attachment to an appropriate neurology service.

Participation in these trials allows trainees to get similar experience to that described for dementia studies above.

Care Home studies

An exciting development over the last year is the formal funding of ENRICH in Scotland which brings the opportunity for trainees to be involved in research involving care home residents and closer working relationships with those involved in ageing research.

Local contacts

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry