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Rare Disease Day

Dementia isn’t rare. There are an estimated 47 million people in the world living with dementia and this number is going up all the time. It’s also not a disease. Dementia is a word we give to a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of different diseases that affect people in a variety of ways.

Alcohol and dementia risk – what we know so far

We know that there are many factors that contribute to dementia risk. There is no surefire way to prevent dementia. Limiting alcohol consumption may be one way to reduce risk but people can develop the condition regardless of alcohol use.

Why I felt compelled to stand up for people with dementia

The future is uncertain for me and my family and, to be honest, is probably not too positive. However, the way I see it, we have two choices. We can be passive and allow dementia to wash over us and leave us empty and broken, or we take small steps to improve the diagnosis and treatment of this awful condition for future generations to come.

Completing a year of challenges – my trek to Everest Base Camp

Laura Brown recently completed a trek to Everest Base Camp. The trek was the last in a series of challenges that raised more than £4,000, including competing in the Middle Distance Triathlon European Championships in Denmark and City to Summit, a 150-mile duathlon from Edinburgh to the top of Ben Nevis. She was inspired to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK as both her nans died with dementia. Laura explains the joy – and sadness – of completing her “Year of Challenges”.

Behind the headlines: Pfizer scales back investment but hope remains for a dementia treatment

Recent news from the pharmaceutical industry that Pfizer is reducing its investment in dementia research has highlighted some of the barriers to research, and the increased need for shared responsibility in bringing treatments to people in need.

Head injury, sport and dementia: should we be worried?

It is both a challenging and exciting time to be investigating the relationship between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and dementia. A recent surge in attention around the topic is welcome but links with the milder-end of head injury in sport have to be treated with caution.

In the News – Food, Frequencies, Pharma Funding

Summary of recent news items around dementia.

The top 5 issues that will impact dementia research in 2018

2018 promises to be just as busy as last year, and likely with as many changes in the political scene, some directly affecting dementia research. Amid these, Alzheimer’s Research UK will be pushing for the Government to give priority to bringing an end to the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.

Why I Document My Dad’s Journey Through Dementia On Social Media

We have to find a cure so that we don’t have to live in fear that one day we might forget who our father is, who our husband is, our who our child is. There will not be an end to the heartbreak of dementia without that progress.


My daughter Carla: dementia at 30

Rita Pepper’s daughter, Carla Bramall, is 40-years-old and in the late stages of dementia. The symptoms of the rare, inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease began when Carla was just 30. Carla’s father Barry died at 43 from the condition, and it’s also caused the death of her grandfather and uncle, while her cousin, like her, is in a care home. Rita speaks about what their family has gone through.

A pair of pink slippers for Christmas

There’s not a single day that goes past when I don’t think about my mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 49, whilst I was taking my GCSE exams, and passed away just after her 60th birthday.

Carol Routledge talks about her cycling fundraising experience

This is why I decided to raise both awareness and funding for Alzheimer Research UK, in memory of my auntie and in enormous gratitude to my twin brother.

Politics, party lines and prioritizing dementia: highlights from 2017

At Alzheimer’s Research UK, we are celebrating what has been a busy, challenging and successful year. This has been particularly true for our policy and public affairs efforts as the past twelve months presented many opportunities for lawmakers to make dementia research a priority. With your help, we’ve gained ground. We’re taking a look back at the work we accomplished together in 2017.

Navigating the Industrial Strategy: How government can make dementia a priority

In a push forward for the government’s Industrial Strategy, a new white paper released last week (27 November) may hold some keys to unlock future dementia treatments. In “Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain fit for the future”, the Government gives emphasis to meeting the needs of an ageing society by naming this effort as one of four grand challenges.

A look behind the scenes – how Alzheimer’s Research UK decides what research to fund

When I heard about the chance to observe an Alzheimer’s Research UK Grant Review Board meeting, I thought it was an opportunity too good to pass up. I filled out the short application form and kept my fingers crossed that I would be selected!

Amy Macdonald: ‘My Christmas single for Alzheimer’s Research UK’

Alzheimer’s is horrific, and it’s something you wouldn’t wish on anyone. And that’s why I decided to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s Research UK with this song – a charity I’m proud to support. Backing their work gives us the best chance of fighting it. It’s so important.

Why Santa Forgot means so much to me

History has shown that dementia is no respecter of persons. Iris Murdoch had one of the greatest minds that the twentieth century ever produced, as a philosopher and a novelist, but she succumbed very quickly and very terribly to dementia. Santa Forgot imagines a world where not even Santa is immune to its devastating effect.

One important myth to overturn another

People with dementia need us to think differently – and we must challenge the myth that dementia is inevitable. Santa Forgot allows us to use one important myth to overturn another.

A year of progress since Santa Forgot

This year has also seen dementia emerge as the UK’s leading cause of death, highlighting the scale of the challenge we face and underlining the need for more research. However, since last Christmas your support has funded a record 84 pioneering research projects, allowing more researchers to join the hunt for new ways to help people living with dementia.

The Financial Times Seasonal Appeal: powering vital drug discovery for dementia

Today sees the launch of the Financial Times 2017/18 Seasonal Appeal, and we are honoured that Alzheimer’s Research UK has been selected as this year’s chosen charity.

Scientist Focus: Maria Tortora

There is more to being an effective dementia researcher than honed laboratory skills. New researchers need to pick up a host of skills in order to forge a successful career and have the greatest impact

In the News: Blood, Brains and Bold investments

Summary of items in the news.

US study highlights potential challenges for future dementia treatments

Although the US and UK health systems are inherently different, this review of the American system is a reminder of the need within our own health system to prepare for new treatments.

Alzheimer’s disease: The puzzle we’re so desperate to solve

At the Sanger Institute, where my PhD is based, we are fascinated by all things genetics, which may seem a long way from a person living with Alzheimer’s disease. Yet we know that certain gene mutations (a small error in a gene) can increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and now we are working to understand how and why that is.

Weighing up evidence in medical research

The world of medical research publishing is totally unfamiliar to most people. There are thousands of medical research journals, many of them publishing studies that concern dementia.