Richard Graham MP teamed up with Alzheimer’s Research UK, on Friday 7 February, to host a public meeting in Gloucester to discuss dementia research. Over 100 people gathered at Gloucester Shire Hall to hear how dementia research is progressing and discuss whether the goal set at last December’s G8 Summit in London, to find a cure or disease modifying treatments for dementia by 2025, is achievable.
Speakers at the event included Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, and Dr Scott Miners, a scientist with the Dementia Research Group at the University of Bristol. Vicki Graham from Dauntsey in Wiltshire, a Champion of Alzheimer’s Research UK, also spoke about her experience of caring for her husband Jamie who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2007 at just 59.
Richard Graham MP said:
“The response to the Alzheimer’s Research UK briefing was very positive. There’s still a big gap in communication and awareness of Alzheimer’s disease, and what research is doing – and this helped give us a clearer idea of progress made. It’s an incredibly important area. With over 7,000 people in Gloucestershire living with dementia today, the need for treatments that can improve quality of life or slow or stop dementia cannot be overstated.”
Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We are very grateful to Richard Graham MP for hosting this event and in doing so helping to raise awareness of the importance of dementia research and need for more investment. The challenges set at the recent G8 Summit are tough but we are making big strides and must remain optimistic. Our new and emerging research developments at Alzheimer’s Research UK look set to make 2014 the most exciting year yet for our vital work and the most promising for people living with dementia.
“We recently launched our new drug discovery programme, called the Dementia Consortium, which is a pioneering partnership between Alzheimer’s Research UK, MRC-Technology [the Medical Research Council], and the pharmaceutical industry through Eisai and Eli Lilly. Playing to the strengths of all the partners, the project will help early promising academic findings to translate into patient benefit through the support of pharmaceutical development.
“Complementing the Dementia Consortium, Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Drug Discovery Institute will open later this year with the aim of developing new dementia treatments. The first of its kind in the UK, the Institute will bridge the gaps between fundamental research and the development of new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. We currently have no treatments that act against the disease processes that cause dementia; this Institute will change that.”