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February

King's researchers star in Alzheimer's charity relaunch

23 February 2011

Dr Abdul Hye, post-doctoral research worker at the Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), was chosen by Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) to represent Alzheimer's research in the UK, at their re-launch at the House of Lords.

Dr Hye, who is responsible for identifying proteome-based plasma biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease said: "It was a great honour to have the opportunity to address such a distinguished audience about this important area of scientific research. Only by keeping the need for research high on the agenda will we be able to combat this devastating disease."

ART, who have re-launched as Alzheimer's Research UK (ARUK) also showcased their new website, leaflets and brochures which feature IoP researchers Dr Elena Ribe-Garrido, Dr Katie Lunnon, Alvina To, Costas Mistrellides, Steve Lynham and Dr Abdul Hye. The website additionally presents a filmed interview with Professor Simon Lovestone who discusses the urgent need for funding and the benefits an accurate test for Alzheimer's might bring.

The launch arrives at a time when a new YouGov poll reveals that the public fears dementia more than cancer and other serious health conditions. In spite of the massive public concern around dementia, research into the condition, which affects 820,000 people, is still desperately underfunded. New figures from ARUK reveal a bleak picture of UK research capacity, despite UK Alzheimer's researchers being some of the best in the world. For every research UK scientist working on dementia, six work on cancer. Dementia research funding is far behind spending on other serious diseases, yet dementia costs the UK economy £23bn, more than cancer (£12bn) and heart disease (£8bn) combined.

ARUK’s Chief Executive Rebecca Wood said: “Public concern around dementia is at an all time high, yet dementia research is still the poor relation in both capacity and investment. We have such brilliant research talent in the UK which could make real inroads into defeating dementia with more support – our brains depend on theirs.”

The call for more funding was echoed by Alzheimer’s Research UK Patron Sir Terry Pratchett who said that “Alzheimer’s is a large number of small tragedies usually played out behind closed doors, so in spite of the numbers living with it, the world still doesn’t take much notice. When the world was shocked by HIV in the eighties, we saw a crash programme of research which has helped tame it enormously. We need the same kind of aggressive action on dementia now.”

To view the new website click here (www.alzheimersresearchuk.org)

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