Intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life (the “use it or lose it” conjecture): longitudinal, prospective study

BMJ 2018;363:k4925

This longitudinal, prospective, observational study aims to examine the association between intellectual engagement and cognitive ability in later life, and determine whether the maintenance of intellectual engagement will offset age related cognitive decline.  The study concludes that self reported engagement is not associated with the trajectory of cognitive decline in late life, but is associated with the acquisition of ability during the life course. Overall, findings suggest that high performing adults engage and those that engage more being protected from relative decline.

Click here to view the full paper.

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Seven principles for public engagement in research and innovation policymaking: A guide from Nesta’s Inclusive Innovation team

Nesta, November 2018

Why should researchers, innovators and those whose jobs it is to regulate technology engage with people who aren’t like them on topics like research and innovation?

  • To give those in power a broader range of potential futures to aspire to
  • To encourage researchers and policymakers to think about broader social, political and ethical issues
  • To improve research and innovation
  • To make sure the benefits of research and innovation are shared widely

Proposes the following 7 key principles:

  • Supported by those with the power to change things
  • Open to experimentation
  • Designed with a clear goal in mind
  • Sensible about measures of success
  • Targeted at specific audiences and communities not the general public
  • Beneficial for participants
  • Informed and facilitated

Click here to view the full report.

Ensuring access to medicines: How to stimulate innovation to meet patients’ needs?: (Policy Brief 29)

European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, November 2018

Brief that aims to inform discussions about stimulating more meaningful productivity in terms of pharmaceutical R&D. More specifically, it explores how R&D efforts can be steered to areas of unmet clinical needs and how efficiency in the R&D process can be increased. It also explicitly considers concrete options for strengthening cooperation between European Union member states in this context.

Click here to view the full report.

Research integrity: clinical trials transparency: Tenth Report of Session 2017–19 Report, together with formal minutes relating to the report

House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, November 2018

Selective non-publication of the results of research distorts the published evidence base and is a threat to research integrity. In the case of clinical trials, non-publication of results means that information on the efficacy of new drugs or other medical interventions cannot be used. Falling short on ‘clinical trials transparency’ in this way presents risks to human health, contributes to research wastage and means that clinical decisions are made without access to all the available evidence.

A range of UK and EU rules and guidelines are now in force to improve clinical trials transparency, in terms of tackling non-registration, non-reporting and mis-reporting. However, despite these rules, around half of clinical trials are currently left unreported, clinical trial registration is not yet universal in the UK, and reported outcomes do not always align with the original study proposal.

Click here to view the full report.

Priorities for Adult Social Work Research: Results from the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership for adult social work

Department of Health and Social Care, November 2018

This report sets out the top ten priorities for adult social work research. It aims to help make sure future research answers the questions that are important to social workers and those who are in contact with them. The priorities cover a broad range of themes and issues for adult social workers. These will help to improve understanding of the social work approaches and interventions that work and why, and help to achieve the best outcomes for people and their carers.

Click here to view the report.

World Alzheimer Report 2018: The State Of The Art Of Dementia Research: New Frontiers

Alzheimer’s Disease International, September 2018

Alzheimer’s Disease International report that looks at a broad cross section of research areas including basic science; diagnosis; drug discovery; risk reduction and epidemiology. With the continued absence of a disease modifying treatment, the report also features progress, innovation and developments in care research. It highlights an urgent need for increased and sustainable funding for dementia research.

Click here to view the full report.