Oxford Dementia Scientists To Share Latest Research With The Public

Alzheimers-Research-UK-logoDementia researchers in Oxford are holding a free public meeting on Saturday 19 March to discuss the latest research findings.

The event will involve short talks from scientists and will also feature local author Valerie Blumenthal who will give an account of her personal experience of living with dementia. The meeting is organised by members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Network Centre, a community of scientists from the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Reading.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, funding research into the causes of dementia, diagnosis, preventions and treatments. They fund more than £33m of dementia research across the UK, including pioneering work currently underway in Oxford and Reading. This funding is allowing scientists in the region to uncover more about the diseases that cause dementia and contribute to the global effort to put a stop to the heartbreak the condition brings.

Dementia experts from a range of backgrounds will be on hand on the day. They include Dr Mark Dallas, a neuroscientist at the University of Reading; Dr John Davis, the Chief Scientific Officer of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Drug Discovery Institute; Dr Elena Ribe, a research scientist investigating the molecular causes of Alzheimer’s disease; and Emma Whiteley, a PhD student using stem cells to better understand dementia.

Prof Richard Wade-Martins is the Coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Research Network. He oversees a busy team of researchers looking into the causes of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and will also be speaking about his work at the meeting. He said:

“Dementia is perhaps the greatest medical challenge of our time. This event is a fantastic opportunity for people to hear about the vital research taking place on their doorstep. All of the speakers are keen to share their insights into causes, risk factors, treatments, and the latest dementia research findings from around Oxford, as well as the progress being made by scientists across the world. The event will conclude with a Q&A panel session so please join us on Saturday and ask as many questions as you have.”

The final speaker of the day will be Oxfordshire author Valerie Blumenthal. Valerie has posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), the same rare variant of Alzheimer’s disease that affected Alzheimer’s Research UK patron and author Sir Terry Pratchett. PCA tends to affect people at a younger age than typical Alzheimer’s and the symptoms differ considerably. Valerie said:

“Most people tend to associate dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with memory problems and confusion. While this is the case for many people, my experience has been quite different. I hope that by sharing my experiences, frustrations, and hopes, I can help make more people aware of the realities of this disease and the importance of accurate and timely diagnosis.”

Dr Emma O’Brien from Alzheimer’s Research UK, who will also be speaking at the meeting, said:

“Nearly 9,000 people in Oxfordshire are living with dementia, and many more have a loved one with the condition. It is important that we reduce the stigma associated with this condition through greater awareness. Hearing from Valerie, who has a unique insight into dementia, as well as the scientists on hand for the event, is a great way to learn more about the condition and the progress being made towards finding new treatments.”

The free public meeting will take place between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 19 March at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, Lecture Theatre 2, Academic Centre. Refreshments will be provided in the break. Please contact Serena Cerritelli on 01865 282358 or serena.cerritelli@dpag.ox.ac.uk to reserve your free place. Parking is available on site but hospital charges apply.

 

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