Researchers gather in Oxford to share dementia findings with public

Posted on 5th March 2015

Scientists are inviting the public to a free meeting in Oxford on Saturday 28 March to discuss current dementia research. The meeting will include a series of talks from local experts, sharing the latest research developments from the laboratory and beyond.

The meeting is organised by members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Research Network, a community of scientists working to research the condition at the University of Oxford, Oxford Brookes University and the University of Reading.

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 £23 million of dementia research across the UK, including over £1.5 million of pioneering science in the Oxford area. This investment is being used to understand a wide range of complex problems, including how biological clues in the blood could be used to detect Alzheimer’s and how variations in our DNA can alter nerve cell communication. All of this research will help improve the lives of people with dementia through improving future diagnosis and finding treatments and preventions for the condition.

The event will bring together researchers with a breadth of specialties – from those studying microscopic changes in cells, to teams studying sophisticated scans of the brain. Dr Bithell from the University of Reading will discuss a new way of studying the changes that occur in Alzheimer’s, using patient’s own skin cells to create nerve cells, while Dr Nevado-Holgado will share new diagnostic tools under development. The event won’t just be about what researchers are studying in the lab, there will also be a chance to find out how the general public can get involved through ‘Join dementia research’, a brand new initiative to get more people signed-up to volunteer for clinical research.

Dr Richard Wade-Martins is Coordinator of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Oxford Research Network. He said:

“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 for dementia. This event will be a fantastic opportunity for the community to learn more about the huge strides researchers in their local area are making to better understand dementia. From blood tests to brain scans, nerve cells to movement, the event will cover a wide range of aspects of dementia research. Please do come along and ask as many questions as you have.”

Dr Emma O’Brien from Alzheimer’s Research UK, who will be speaking at the meeting, said:

“Nearly 9,000 people in Oxfordshire are living with dementia, alongside an army of informal carers who work tirelessly to support loved ones. It is essential that we reduce the stigma associated with this condition through greater awareness. Events like this in Oxford are a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the effects of Alzheimer’s and other dementias and to hear about the progress being made towards finding a cure.”

The free event will take place from 10am-1pm on Saturday 28 March at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, Lecture Theatre 2, Academic Centre. Free tea and coffee will be provided. Please contact Dr Melanie Witt on 01865 282358 or aruk.administrator@dpag.ox.ac.uk to reserve your free place. Parking is available on site but hospital charges apply.

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