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"For my future and my children's future"

05 May 2010

The Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), King’s College London (KCL), opened its doors to 150 members of the public on Saturday 24th April, to show them first hand, latest research in Alzheimer’s Disease and Motor Neurone Disease.

This year’s Open Day was co-hosted by The Alzheimer’s Research Trust network and the Medical Research Council Centre for Neurodeneration Research at KCL.

The Institute is at the forefront of neurodegenerative disease research and this was a rare opportunity for the public to take a look at the cutting-edge science that goes on at the IoP.

People travelled from all over the UK to attend, each with their own story to tell:

Paul Grey, a retired Army Officer, said: 'My father died of dementia and I have decided to donate my brain to research after my death. I come here every year for tests – I want to do what I can to help find a cure.'

Pauline Carrigan from Kent said: 'My father has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and I’ve come here with my daughter to find out about what research is going on – for my future and my children’s future.'

Attendees visited 12 different research stations manned by junior academic ‘stars of the future’.  Demonstrations and lectures ranged from brain tissue donation to neural stem cells. Visitors were encouraged to ask questions during the demonstrations and at the end of the day, to a panel of experts.

Dr John Powell, said 'We are delighted that so many members of the public have made such an effort to attend our Open Day and have asked such pertinent questions'.

He continued: 'The enthusiasm and dedication shown by IoP junior researchers in sharing their work gives us hope that the future is safe in their hands'.

The day was organised by Alison Sharpe, Business Manager, Old Age Psychiatry, who co-ordinated a team of 50 IoP staff from academic and professional services departments, to ensure visitors had an interesting, engaging and entertaining day.

Richard Barnard, IoP KCL Director of Administration said: 'We would particularly like to thank the Site Services, Security, Catering and support staff who worked so hard to ensure visitors were greeted warmly, kept safe and fed well!'

The next Neurodegenerative Disease Research Open Day will take place in April 2012.



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