‘Join dementia research’ at the Alzheimer’s Research UK conference
‘Join dementia research’ (www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk), along with the Clinical Research Network: Dementias & neurodegeneration specialty, was at the Alzheimer’s Research UK 2015 Conference on 10th and 11th March at Senate House, London.
The conference is the largest dementia research conference in the UK. It saw 450 dementia researchers gather together; and ‘Join dementia research’ were there to promote the service to researchers.
There are now 300 registered researchers using ‘Join dementia researchers’, and there is a dedicated page for researchers.
This year George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, was in attendance to talk about the government’s commitment to dementia research. He mentioned the importance of cross-party support for defeating dementia and for the life sciences sector.
Nobel Prize winner, Prof John O’Keefe, also gave a keynote speech where he spoke the importance of integrating animal and human models.
Dr Eric Karran, Director of Research Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research, informed delegates of our collaboration and our current volunteer numbers which stood at 4,800 on March 10th.
On Tuesday afternoon, there was an interesting session on resources for dementia researchers. Cathie Sudlow from the University of Edinburgh spoke about UK Biobank.
UK Biobank is a health resource – a study of people that includes just over half a million adults. It is a large and detailed study; and this data can therefore be used by researchers to investigate a large range of serious and life-threatening illnesses, including forms of dementia, and is looking into improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
The study includes details on participants’ lifestyle, environment, personal and family medical history, physical measures and biological samples. All participants have also been genotyped, which means their DNA sequence has been examined.
Furthermore, it is a prospective study which means a sub-section of these cohort members will be followed up every few years. Therefore there can be a follow-up for disease outcomes over 20+ years.
UK Biobank is also working with Dementia Platform UK, and will be one of the key resources used to help scientists study dementia.
Chris Graham who is 39 years old, and has a rare familial form of Alzheimer’s Disease also made the news on Monday.
Chris is part of a research study to help understand Alzheimer’s. He is participating in a research study run by Prof Nick Fox at University College London. Chris is one of around 140 people across the world taking part in the study of this rare form of the disease. Through his generosity in volunteering, Chris is helping to power progress for everyone affected by Alzheimer’s.
We are already looking forward to next year’s conference!