The Masonic Samaritan Fund has donated over £180,000 to Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. The money will help support the first two years of pioneering research to develop a simple blood test to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease.
Scientists at King’s College London, one of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s 15 network research centres, are carrying out the innovative research. Prof Simon Lovestone is leading the study and received the first installment of the donation from the Masonic Samaritan Fund at a ceremony on Tuesday 13 September, at King’s College Hospital.
Simon Lovestone, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry at King’s College London, talked about the research project and the importance of this donation:
“Our aim is to develop a simple blood test that can be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s very early, even before any symptoms show. To do this, we are using advanced techniques to study proteins in the blood of Alzheimer’s patients, looking for markers that reflect changes happening in the brain during the disease.
“Whenever we hear about people with Alzheimer’s it’s always apparent that the disease started many years before it was diagnosed. Some evidence suggests it might even start five to ten years before diagnosis. If we are to find an effective treatment, and carry out studies to find new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, then we must have a way of diagnosing it much earlier. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to receive this generous donation and the continued support of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
John McCrohan, Grants Director and Deputy Chief Executive of the Masonic Samaritan Fund, presented the cheque to Prof Lovestone and said:
“We are acutely aware that more investment into dementia research is needed urgently to defeat Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK is making great strides by funding world-class scientists and we are proud to contribute to Professor Lovestone’s ground-breaking study.”
Dr Marie Janson, Director of Development at Alzheimer’s Research UK, added:
“We are very grateful to the Masonic Samaritan Fund for this most generous donation towards Professor Lovestone’s vital research. Early detection of Alzheimer’s is crucial to ensure the treatments of the future can be given swiftly and when most effective. This research will bring us closer to that goal.
“There are 820,000 people in the UK living with dementia today, with numbers set to rise significantly in the next generation. Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, it is caused by brain diseases which we can beat if we invest in research now. We have already made great progress and I have real hope that this study will bring some positive results.”
To help Alzheimer’s Research UK defeat dementia, donate online at www.alzheimersresearchuk.org or call 01223 843899.