A GRANDMOTHER-OF-TWO has spoken of her battle with dementia and the unexpected comfort of taking part in research to help others.

Joan Cansfield, of Kingham, near Chipping Norton, was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment in April 2014.

The 76-year-old had first noticed symptoms three years earlier, when she had begun asking herself the same questions over and over, and felt 'scared'.

She said: "When I got my diagnosis, part of me didn’t want to accept that anything was wrong. All of a sudden you’re not in control and I don’t like that.

"My condition is a nuisance because Bill can remember everything since Adam and Eve, and I have to ask him things."

The following year Mrs Cansfield signed up to Dementia Research, a nationwide service that connects people affected by dementia to research studies.

From there she took part in a trial at the Witney Memory Clinic in West Oxfordshire that looked at whether a blood pressure drug, losartan, could slow damage to the brain.

Participants aged 55 and over took part in memory and thinking assessments, as well as blood pressure checks and an MRI scan, before receiving the drug or a placebo.

Mrs Cansfield said: "My experience has been very pleasant. The researchers are supportive and you need to know that someone is batting for you.

"Our study nurse, Jemima, is our lifeline. It’s comforting to know that someone is helping.

"Before taking part I was terrified. I’m still scared, but I don’t have the same sort of negative thinking about it."

Dementia is often degenerative and includes symptoms such as memory loss, personality changes and problems with speech or reasoning.

Bill Cansfield, Mrs Cansfield's husband of 54 years, said: "She hasn’t got the same confidence that she had and I think that frustrates her as much as anything.

"The first year memory seems to go quite slowly, but the last couple of years it has accelerated a little."

This week is Dementia Awareness Week, a national drive by the Alzheimer's Society to encourage understanding of dementia and support for those that face it.

As part of the week's events, Join Dementia Research is calling on people affected by dementia to sign up and take part in studies.

Research nurse Jemima Hume, of Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Join Dementia Research is very good because it is a way for the patient to look up studies and actively seek more opportunities."

For more information visit joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk