Manchester dementia researchers awarded £200,000 funding boost

21 September 2018

Scientists at the University of Manchester are set to benefit from over £200,000 of new funding from Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity. This new funding announcement comes on World Alzheimer’s Day, and as Alzheimer’s Research UK pledges to commit a further £250 million to dementia research by 2025.

Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK, including over 30,000 in Greater Manchester alone. The condition affects people’s ability to remember, think, plan and communicate and is caused by physical brain diseases, the most common being Alzheimer’s disease.

The new funding will support a pioneering research project focussing on the causes of vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia and a disease that affects around 150,000 people around the country.

Dr Patrick Strangward who is leading this work said:

“We know that vascular dementia is driven by disruptions to the blood supply to the brain, but harmful brain inflammation can also contribute to the development of the disease. My research will focus on a particular molecular pathway ­— a precise sequence of protein interactions­­ that is activated when blood supply to the brain diminishes, and which results in a damaging inflammation.

“The new funding will not only allow us to understand the molecular underpinnings of inflammation in vascular dementia but will also help to reveal targets for new drugs that could limit this damaging process and provide people with more years of better cognitive health.”

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Our brains don’t operate in isolation from the rest of our bodies and we know that the brain needs a healthy supply of blood to support its many functions. If the brain’s blood supply is not functioning well, there will be knock-on effects for brain health.

“With no treatments currently available to help improve the symptoms of vascular dementia, it vital that we continue to drive research to deliver breakthroughs that will change lives. Alzheimer’s Research UK receives no government funding for our research, it is only the tireless efforts of our dedicated supporters that make research like this possible.”