Sheffield dementia researchers open their doors to the public

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Sheffield scientists are inviting the public to an open evening on Thursday 22 June to hear more about current progress in dementia research. The free event features short talks from doctors and researchers, as well as an opportunity to pick up information about the condition.

The evening is organised by members of the Alzheimer’s Research UK Yorkshire Network Centre, a community of dementia researchers from the Universities of York, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and Hull.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, funding research to better understand, diagnose, treat and reduce the risk of dementia. The charity is funding more than £27m of pioneering research across the UK, with researchers in the region among those working tirelessly to understand more about the diseases that cause dementia and shape the search for new treatments.

Dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK, including nearly 7,000 in Sheffield alone. The condition, most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease, affects people’s ability to remember, think, plan and communicate. The diseases that cause dementia get slowly worse until someone is unable to walk, talk, dress or go to the toilet without help. Sadly, while there are treatments that can help with the symptoms, there is currently no way to slow or stop the diseases that cause dementia.

The event aims to provide an opportunity for people in the area to learn more about dementia and the research underway to tackle the condition. Those speaking at the event include Prof Paul Ince, a Consultant Neuropathologist who will speak about the diseases that cause dementia, and Dr Dan Blackburn, a Consultant Neurologist who will talk about how dementia is detected and diagnosed. Visitors will also hear about the role that our diets can play in keeping our brains healthy, as well as hearing from Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion, Lee Pearce, about caring for a loved one with dementia.

Dr John Boyle leads the Yorkshire Network Centre, which is organising the evening. He said:

“Dementia is now the UK’s most feared health condition, drawing level with cancer for the first time. With an increasingly ageing population, it’s a condition that will affect more and more of us, so it’s important that people have the opportunity to understand more about it. This event is a fantastic opportunity for people to hear about the vital research taking place to understand and ultimately beat the diseases that cause dementia. We hope it will be an informal and informative evening for people in the area who may want to know more.”

Dr Katy Stubbs from Alzheimer’s Research UK will be speaking at the event, and she said: “Dementia touches the lives of millions of people, including many family members and friends working tirelessly behind the scenes to support a loved one with the condition. We know people have many questions about dementia and this event provides a great way to find answers, as well as meeting people in a similar situation. Research is providing hope for the future, but it’s not just about scientists in labs. People with dementia and their carers also play a critical role in shaping research and this open day is a fantastic opportunity for discussing and experiences and exchanging views.”

The free event is being held from 5.00pm – 7.00pm on Thursday 22 June at the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), 385a Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2HQ. The event is free and refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact Heather Cartledge on 0114 222 2230 or h.l.cartledge@sheffield.ac.uk, or book your place at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/aruk-yorkshire-branch-public-meeting-tickets-34975362250