Leading Cambridge-based charity at the heart of city’s science festival

02 March 2018

This March, scientists in Cambridge are inviting the public to two free events to discuss the latest advances in dementia research. The public talks, supported by Alzheimer’s Research UK, the country’s leading dementia research charity, form part of Cambridge Science Festival, an annual celebration of science in the city.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, funding research into the causes of dementia, diagnosis, preventions and treatments. They currently fund more than £28m of dementia research across the UK, including over £4 million of pioneering science in Cambridge.

Maps, monsters and mazes in the fight against dementia will explore the science behind Sea Hero Quest, the video game that allows you to put your sense of direction to the test while taking part in the largest research study of its kind in history. Gillian Coughlan from the University of East Anglia and Dr Saber Sami from the University of Cambridge will update the audience about the progress of the project.

Gillian Coughlan who is using Sea Hero Quest as part of her research, said:
“A staggering three million people have downloaded Sea Hero Quest, generating a pool of data equivalent to many thousands of years of conventional laboratory research. Everyone is welcome to come and hear about the insights being gleaned through this innovative research initiative and how our findings are paving the way to better diagnostic tests for dementia. Attendees will also have the chance to try the latest iteration of Sea Hero Quest, an immersive virtual reality experience.”

The event will run from 6:00pm – 7:30pm on 12 March at the Department of Chemistry, Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, CB2 1EW.

The second free event, Molecules to memory: advances in dementia research, is organised by members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Cambridge Network Centre, a community of dementia researchers from universities across the East of England. The evening will involve a series of talks from scientists at the cutting edge of research, as well as an opportunity for the public to put their questions to the experts, and a chance to hear about how to take part in dementia research studies.

Prof James Rowe from Cambridge University whose work is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK will be giving a talk on the challenges of developing new treatments for people. He said:

“Dementia is one of the greatest medical challenges of our time. Cambridge is a leading centre for dementia research and this event is a fantastic opportunity for people in the city to learn more about the huge strides researchers here are taking. We are desperate to put an end to this devastating condition and we are passionate about sharing our knowledge about causes, risk factors and new treatments. Please do come along and ask as many questions as you have.”

The meeting will be held between 4pm – 6pm on March 14 at the Institute of Public Health, Forvie Site Robinson Way on Addenbrokes, Cambridge, CB2 0SR.

Edward Pinches from Alzheimer’s Research UK said:

“There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK and over 11,000 in Cambridgeshire area alone. Countless others are impacted by the condition, acting as informal carers and working tirelessly to support a loved one. These meetings during the Cambridge Science Festival, are open to anyone who would like to know more about dementia and the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Hearing from scientists and other dementia experts is a great way to learn more about the condition and progress being made towards finding new treatments.”

Both events are free but booking is required. For more information please visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/meet-our-scientists or call Cambridge Science Festival on 01223766766.