Jo Stevens MP visits Cardiff University to see pioneering dementia research

Posted on 24th May 2016

Jo Stevens, MP for Cardiff Central, has discovered how Alzheimer’s Research UK and Cardiff University are leading the fight against dementia, after she visited a lab at the University on Friday 20 May.

The visit allowed Ms Stevens to witness projects at Cardiff University investigating the impact of ageing, gender and genetics on Alzheimer’s disease and the development of potential new treatments.

Photo 2 Jo Stevens Lab Tour (002)
(left to right): Jo Stevens MP with Dr Rhian Thomas, Dr Mouhamed Alsaqati and Dr Emma Kidd in the lab.

Ms Stevens toured the University’s laboratories and spoke to scientists from the charity’s Research Network who are working to understand the causes of diseases like Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia.

Jo Stevens said:

“I very much enjoyed seeing the innovative work taking place at Cardiff University. It makes me very proud as the local MP to see one of our local universities at the forefront of the fight against dementia. Dementia affects hundreds of thousands of people across the UK and the work going on here with the help of Alzheimer’s Research UK is vital to give hope to future generations, and bring us closer to discovering a treatment or cure. I thank all of the research team for their hard work.”

As one of 15 national hubs for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Research Network, this centre of excellence has been awarded £50,000 in funding and brought together scientists from a variety of disciplines, allowing them to pool their expertise and share ideas and resources. Dementia researchers at the University have been working on collaborative projects since 2004 and have identified 27 genes that contribute to the risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s, allowing scientists to better understand the ways they can beat this devastating disease.

Dr Emma Kidd, Reader in Pharmacology at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, will guide Ms Stevens on her tour and talk through her most recent work on understanding the contribution of ageing and gender to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr Kidd will also introduce Ms Stevens to other members of her research team who will demonstrate some of the research methods they are using to help defeat dementia.

Dr Kidd said:

“We’re delighted to welcome Ms Stevens to Cardiff University. At the University we’re undertaking cutting-edge research to identify more about how various risk factors contribute to the development of the diseases that cause dementia. However, diseases like Alzheimer’s are multi-faceted and to fight them effectively, we need to tackle the challenge from many different angles.”

Dr Kidd added:

“Collaboration is key and at Cardiff we have built links between a range of disciplines, from scientists working in the lab to clinical researchers who work with patients. The Alzheimer’s Research UK Network plays an important role in helping to foster this collaborative spirit.”

Dr Matthew Norton, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Currently 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, including approximately 3,700 in Cardiff alone, and we urgently need better ways to treat and prevent the diseases that cause it. Members of our Research Network in Cardiff have shown a real commitment to this challenge, and we’re delighted to help shine the spotlight on the vital work they are doing. Investment in research is crucial if we are to deliver effective new treatments to the people who need them, and it’s important that this work is given full backing from all of us – charities, government and the public.”

Posted in Policy news