St Andrews scientists to share latest dementia research with the public

Posted on 26th May 2016

Scientists in St Andrews will come together on Tuesday 31 May to hold a free public meeting to discuss current dementia research.

The event, which will involve short talks from clinicians and researchers, comes during Dementia Awareness Week (30 May- 6 June), an initiative to highlight the impact of dementia and challenge misconceptions of the condition.

The meeting is organised by members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Scotland Network, a community of researchers working in Scotland to research dementia. Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, funding research into the causes of dementia, diagnosis, preventions and treatments. The charity funds more than £33m of dementia research across the UK, including pioneering work currently underway in universities across Scotland. This funding is allowing scientists to uncover more about the diseases that cause dementia and contribute to the global effort to put a stop to the heartbreak the condition brings.

Dementia experts from a range of backgrounds will be speaking at the event. They include Dr Gary Stevenson, a consultant psychiatrist who will discuss his experience diagnosing dementia; Dr Maggie Ellis a researcher investigating communication difficulties experienced by people with dementia; and Dr Gayle Doherty who will speak about developing treatments to protect the brain from diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Prof John Zajicek, of the University of St Andrews, is involved in a number of clinical dementia research studies and will be on hand to speak about his work and answer questions from the audience. He said:

“Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, it is caused by diseases that damage nerve cells in the brain. This event is a fantastic opportunity for people in St Andrews to hear about the vital research taking place to find new ways to tackle these diseases and help people living with dementia. 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 join us and ask as many questions as you have.”

Robin Brisbourne from Alzheimer’s Research UK, who will also speak at the meeting, said:

“We are delighted to be supporting this event, which promises to shed light on a condition that is perhaps the greatest health challenge of our times. Nearly 70,000 people in Scotland are living with dementia and many more have friends and loved ones with the condition. This event is open to anyone who would like to find out more about dementia, the progress being made in the hunt for new treatments, and the work of Alzheimer’s Research UK.”

The free event will take place from 6:30 to 8:30pm on Tuesday 31 May in the Byre Theatre, University of St Andrews, Abbey Street. Free tickets can be reserved through www.byretheatre.com and will also be available at the venue on the night. For any questions about the meeting please contact Susan Simpson on 01382 383358 or email s.l.simpson@dundee.ac.uk

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