Over 400 of the country’s leading dementia researchers will hear from University of Manchester PhD student Robert Andrew today (Tue 10 March), as he shares his latest findings at the UK’s largest dementia research conference. He will present his research into the causes of Alzheimer’s disease at the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2015 in London.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, funding more than £23m of pioneering research into the condition around the country. The charity’s annual conference, which takes place on 10-11 March, will see Robert join scientists from across the UK to discuss developments in their work towards better ways of tackling dementia.
Robert, whose research is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, is investigating why amyloid, a protein that’s usually harmless to the brain, forms toxic plaques in Alzheimer’s disease.
“We know Alzheimer’s isn’t an inevitable part of ageing but the result of physical changes going on in the brain, including a build-up of toxic amyloid. My research is developing our understanding of why this ordinary protein becomes harmful to nerve cells in the disease. Damage to nerve cells is what causes the devastating symptoms of Alzheimer’s like memory loss and personality changes.
“We’ve identified a molecular chain of events that appears to contribute to the formation of this toxic form of amyloid. This research could highlight new targets for future Alzheimer’s treatments and I hope that presenting my latest findings at today’s conference inspires new ideas and collaborations. I am very excited to be speaking about my work to such a large gathering of leading dementia scientists.”
The brain is the most complex structure in the known universe and understanding how it works and how it goes wrong in dementia is an important challenge for researchers. Across the world, scientists are taking different approaches to help people with dementia and the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2015 will bring together experts from a range of research disciplines.
Dr Laura Phipps from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Dementia is a heart-breaking condition, not just for those affected but for their friends and families. There are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and around 88,000 of those live in the North West. We are committed to improving the lives of people with dementia through research and it’s great to see that progress is being made by Robert Andrew and his colleagues in Manchester. This conference aims to forge collaborations and allow researchers to share ideas and expertise to help us make progress more quickly.