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New nationwide study into mental health conditions and dementia

UK Minds is a nationwide research project looking into experiences and diagnoses of schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, bipolar, and dementia.

Imagine if you could go to the GP for a test that assesses your risk of developing dementia, or a mental health condition like bipolar.

UKMinds is a nationwide research project that aims to collect information about people’s environment, lifestyle, and biology and is a collaboration between the National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) hosted at Cardiff University and Akrivia Health.

The goal is to provide some of the desperately needed answers that will push forward our understanding of why some people experience problems with their mental and cognitive health.

Using anonymised NHS health records held within the Akrivia platform, UKMinds will combine this information with data collected by NCMH Researchers at interviews, including blood samples.

This will create an extensive database of information which can be used by researchers to further investigations into the improvement of diagnosis, treatment, and drug therapies for mental ill health conditions and dementia.

The project has an initial goal to recruit participants into one of three groups:

  • 6,000 participants with a mental health diagnosis
    • 1,000 of this number to have provided biological data (blood samples)
  • 1,000 participants with a dementia diagnosis

What taking part involves

The project involves participants undertaking a basic screening to confirm if they can participate.

A key requirement to take part is that participants have a diagnosis of psychosis, schizophrenia, bipolar, or depression with secondary care involvement such as the local community mental health team, psychiatry, or crisis services.

For the dementia portion of the study, individuals must have a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia or mild cognitive impairment.

 If eligible to participate, researchers will conduct a short one-hour interview either remotely, at the individual’s home, or at one of our research sites.  A small blood sample of no more than 50ml will also be taken.

Why we take blood samples

Blood samples will be used for a range of research purposes including the creation of cell lines and the study of biological characteristics.

This will allow researchers to look for genes and other factors which might make some people more likely than others to become ill.

Register your interest today

Visit our online form to register your interest today.

As a thank you for their time, participants will receive either a £25 or £50 payment or gift voucher. Travel expenses can also be made if travelling to a research site.

Listen now

We also discussed UK Minds with project participant, Dave, and Project Manager Holly Pearce on the Piece of Mind podcast. 


Liam Cooper-King
Liam is a Senior Psychology Assistant working on the UK Minds project at the
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