New study into under-researched form of dementia
Posted on 01/12/2010
As an important new study into the causes of agitation and aggression in people with Lewy body dementia gets underway at King’s College London and Newcastle University, Britain’s largest dementia brain bank network is appealing to people to become brain donors and help bring Lewy body dementia research into the 21st century.
The study, funded by Alzheimer’s Society and the BUPA Foundation is using tissue from the Brains for Dementia Research network. This work is a huge boost for people with Lewy bodies as scientists estimate research into the condition is about 15 years behind that of Alzheimer’s disease, despite the fact it affects tens of thousands of people in the UK. Lewy bodies dementia shares many of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Other symptoms can include hallucinations and sleep disturbance.
Professor Paul Francis, lead investigator of the King’s College London and Newcastle University research and Director of Brains for Dementia Research, said: ‘This study has the potential to move us closer to treatments that will improve the quality of life of a substantial group of older people.
‘Thanks to the generosity of people with Lewy body dementia and their families, researchers have already been able to draw on high quality tissue from Brains for Dementia Research. However, we would like to hear from more people with the condition who are interested in brain donation. This will ensure scientists can continue to carry out high quality research and move us closer to treatments and a cure for this devastating condition.’
This latest project is one of a number to have benefited from the brain bank network which was launched last year to provide high quality tissue to the best researchers in the world. While hundreds of people have already pledged to donate their brains, scientists still need many more if they are to make the advancements necessary in research into dementia.
Brains for Dementia Research is coordinated by King’s College London and jointly funded by Alzheimer’s Society and the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. It has centres in London, Newcastle, Bristol, Manchester, Oxford and Cardiff. People, both with and without dementia, who have pledged to donate their brains after death have their memory, thinking and behaviour assessed at regular intervals. This makes Brains for Dementia Research a unique and valuable resource for researchers looking to understand, diagnose or treat dementia.
People over 65 who are interested in contributing to dementia research by donating their brain should contact Dr Gillian Hayes at King’s College London at email@example.com or 020 7848 8377 for more information. Alternatively visit the website brainsfordementiaresearch.org.uk
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (2010 QS international world rankings), The Sunday Times 'University of the Year 2010/11' and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has nearly 23,000 students (of whom more than 8,600 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and some 5,500 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit:
For further information please contact Emma Reynolds, Press Officer at King’s College London, on 0207 848 4334 or email firstname.lastname@example.org