Dementia researchers invite public to free research open day

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By Alice Tuohy | Tuesday 29 May 2018

Scientists in Exeter are inviting the public to a free event on Friday 15 June from 10am-3:35pm, to hear more about current progress in dementia research.

There will be various talks from scientists and doctors at the forefront of research into the condition. The free event is organised by members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK South West Network Centre, a community of dementia researchers working at the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth.

Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK, including over 85,000 in the South West. The condition, most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease, affects people’s ability to remember, think, plan and communicate. Sadly, while there are treatments that can help with the symptoms, there is currently no way to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity. They fund more than £31m of dementia research across the country, including over £1m at the University of Exeter. This funding is helping scientists to better understand the diseases that cause dementia and develop new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat the condition.

The event provides the opportunity to hear about the changes that take place in the brain in the diseases that cause dementia and the advances emerging from innovative research in the South West. Dr Eshan Pishva will discuss the links between psychiatric disorders, such as depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Other speakers include Dr Ray Sheridan, who is working to identify biological clues that could help diagnose people with dementia earlier, and Dr Rebecca Smith who will be discussing how our genes contribute to our risk of the condition. Visitors will have the chance to put their questions to the scientists, with part of the day set aside for discussion.

Dr Katie Lunnon, Coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Research UK South West Network Centre, said:

“These events are an extremely important way for us to talk to the public about dementia and the groundbreaking research that is paving the way towards life-changing treatments. Researchers at universities across the region are working hard to create a better future for those affected by dementia, and we hope many people come along to hear about the advances scientists here in the South West are making.”

Dr Katy Stubbs from Alzheimer’s Research UK will also be speaking, she said:

“Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and there is desperate need for effective new treatments. The brain is the final frontier of biological research, and this event is a fantastic opportunity for people to hear about the cutting-edge science taking place to tackle the diseases that cause dementia. We hope you come along and take this opportunity to put your questions about dementia to leading experts within the field.”

The free event is being held from 10:00am – 3:35pm on Wednesday 23 May at the XFI Building, Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4ST and refreshments and lunch will be provided. Please book your free place by emailing Rebecca ( or Jenny (, calling 01392 408213, or by booking online at


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Alice Tuohy