Reflecting on a groundbreaking year

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By Hilary Evans | Thursday 09 November 2023

This week, we published our Annual Report for the 2022/23 financial year, and I couldn’t be more proud to reflect on such a momentous year for progress, both in dementia research and at Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Our 2022/23 Annual Report is bursting with highlights from across the charity’s work. Most notably, we raised £50 million in a year for the first time in our history.

Reaching this incredible milestone was only made possible thanks to all of you, our dedicated supporters. Collectively, you did so much to help us get there, taking part in marathons, ice baths, stand-up comedy, online challenges, and so much more. We’re so grateful.

Thanks to your incredible support, our scientists were able to make more than 500 important discoveries about the diseases that cause dementia.

Among these, one study called the ‘Insight 46’ project, confirmed that people who stay physically active throughout their lives tend to have better cognitive function in later life, underlining the fact that there are steps people can take to reduce their dementia risk.

Another promising study found that an HIV drug could help prevent the build-up of dementia-related proteins in mice, opening up the prospect of testing this concept in people.

Also during 2022/23, we:

  • launched our Think Brain Health Check-in,
  • released a report highlighting the Impact of Dementia on Women,
  • and nominated 44 wonderful supporters in our first-ever inaugural Supporter Awards.

We also received recognition for our work. Our supporter-led Connections film series with Ray and Mariel picked up two silver awards at the Charity Film Awards, and we became one of Best Companies top 50 large organisations to work for.

It was also a personal milestone for me this year – it was my tenth year at Alzheimer’s Research UK. So it was a time to reflect on how far we’ve come as a charity, and how incredible it is to stand with an organisation that’s impacting people’s lives. I’m immensely proud of our achievements.

And there’s no doubt it’s been a truly historic time for dementia research, with lecanemab – the first ever drug to tackle the underlying causes of Alzheimer’s disease – showing positive results in clinical trials in November 2022. With a second drug, donanemab, also recently showing promising results, these global breakthroughs in drug development have opened the door to a new era for research and renew our hope for a future without the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.

But these breakthroughs bring new challenges. One of our priorities now is to ensure our healthcare system is ready to deliver new treatments to people who need them in the UK, and we’ve been working tirelessly to ensure regulators and healthcare decisionmakers act swiftly to ensure momentum continues.

I’d like to thank everyone who played a part in making 2022/23 a success, and to those who continue to show their support as we work for a cure.

To find out more, read our 2023 Annual Report or our shorter 2023 Annual Review.

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About the author

Hilary Evans

Hilary is Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is a charity working at a global level to find a cure for dementia. The organisation’s aim is to raise awareness of the diseases that cause dementia, to increase dementia research funding and improve the environment for dementia scientists in the UK and internationally.

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