A gallery of “breath-taking” images and videos which shine a light on crucial dementia research have been released by Alzheimer’s Society’s first ever research image competition.
Spotlight on Dementia challenges researchers funded by the charity to showcase their vital work through creative images and video.
Entries explored diverse topics such as detecting dementia using virtual reality, the impact of young-onset dementia on people’s careers, and the potential involvement of the brain’s immune system in the processes behind dementia.
Dr Charlie Arber, a stem cell researcher from UCL took home the winning prize for his entry ‘Bed of Rosettes’ which shows a group of stem cells, called a neural rosette, becoming brain cells.
Charlie said: ‘Alzheimer’s Society funding has allowed me to develop my work using stem cells to understand how dementia starts and I’m thrilled to win the first Spotlight on Dementia competition.
Research offers hope across dementia diagnosis, treatment and care, and I hope this competition will help bring more funding opportunities and new people to the dementia research community.’
Charlie Arber’s image ‘Bed of Rosettes’ is available on mugs, T-shirts and tote bags from Alzheimer’s Society’s online shop.
The judging panel, which included Tom Whipple, Science Editor at The Times and people affected by dementia, chose Charlie’s photo because they felt it added colour to an important area of dementia research – trying to understand how dementia starts and how we can treat it. They felt the image reminded them of Alzheimer’s Society’s iconic forget-me-not, a symbol of remembrance.
Dr Richard Oakley, Associate Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘Spotlight on Dementia brings together science and art to reveal the wonder and variety of the research we fund. Each breath-taking entry tells a different story about the drive and enthusiasm of our stellar researchers working across dementia diagnosis, treatment and care.
‘Alzheimer’s Society is a vital source of support and a powerful force for change for people with dementia. The charity only funds the most cutting-edge dementia research and currently we fund over 155 projects worth £29.5m. We do this because we know research will beat dementia and improve the lives of people affected by the condition.
Times are hard at the moment, but more funding is desperately needed to help us find breakthroughs and a cure.”
‘Decades of underfunding mean dementia research lags about twenty years behind the progress we’ve made in cancer, and we’re still waiting for the Government to act on its commitment over two years ago to double dementia research funding.’