How do we tackle the dementia ‘time-bomb’? University to host public Q&A

Posted on 5th March 2015

How are scientists trying to defeat dementia? What causes it and what support is available to dementia carers? The public are invited to find out the very latest on this debilitating disease during a special Question Time-style event at the University of Reading on Wednesday 18th March.

Jamie Anderson, son of legendary Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson who had mixed dementia, will join neuroscientist Dr Mark Dallas and Dr Angela Bithell, Lecturer in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine on the panel. Both work in the University of Reading’s School of Pharmacy and are active members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Network. Joining them will be panellists from organisations that fund dementia research.

The event is sponsored by the Oxford Alzheimer’s Research UK Network. Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, which funds research into dementia causes, diagnosis, preventions and treatments. They are currently funding more than £23m of dementia research across the UK including projects at the Universities of Oxford and Reading.

Dr Mark Dallas said:

“Dementia affects over 3,400 people in Reading and South Oxfordshire alone. This event is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about the latest efforts to better understand the diseases that cause dementia. We are making huge strides in furthering our knowledge of this devastating condition which is contributing to the global effort to bring an end to the heart-break dementia causes. We are looking forward to sharing our knowledge about causes, risk factors, prevention and treatments as well as answering any questions from the public.”

The audience will also have the chance to hear from Marianne Talbot whose parents both had dementia. Marianne wrote a book about her experiences called ‘Keeping Mum’ describing her journey caring for a family member with dementia. Along with dementia campaigner Jamie Anderson, she will be able to answer questions about the practical day-to-day issues experienced by someone who has a loved-one with dementia.

Dr Laura Phipps, Science Communications Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“There are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK. There is also an army of informal carers working tirelessly to support loved ones affected by the condition. It is essential that we reduce the stigma associated with this condition and we believe that helping people understand more about dementia is crucial. With a panel made up of both dementia scientists and people with first-hand experience of the impact of dementia on families, this event will be a fantastic opportunity for the public to get a better understanding of the effects of the condition and to learn about the progress being made towards finding a cure.”

The free event will take place from 1-2pm on Wednesday 18th March at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading (Lecture Theatre G11, University of Reading, Whiteknights Campus, RG6 6UR). A buffet and refreshments will be served afterwards and provides an opportunity for further discussion. For further information and to sign up for this event please contact Dr Mark Dallas on 01183 785 203 or

Posted in Science news