The Scottish government is investing £1.05 million over three years in a co-ordinated approach to dementia research in the region.

Built around four research hubs in Glasgow, Grampian, Lothian and Tayside, the Dementia Research Network will bring together leading academics and clinicians to conduct patient-centred clinical trials through the National Health Service (NHS).

It follows in the footsteps of Scottish clinical research networks for cancer, children’s medicine, diabetes, stroke, mental health and primary care, and will collaborate with existing dementia networks across England, Northern Ireland and Wales as part of the UK Clinical Research Network (UKCRN).

Scotland’s Dementia Research Network will be chaired by Dr Peter Connelly, consultant old age psychiatrist with NHS Tayside. Professor John Starr from NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh will serve as director of the network.

According to the government, dementia affects at least 6% of people over the age of 65 years in Scotland, while the total number of people with dementia could increase by 75% over the next 25 years.

Chief medical officer Dr Harry Burns said the new network “will ensure we are working towards better treatment, diagnosis and care for those with dementia and offers the opportunity for all patients with dementia to participate in early studies of potential treatments”.