A crowd gathered in the Holiday Inn, Harrogate, to hear all about the research taking place to defeat dementia.
Organised by Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones and Alzheimer’s Research UK, the aim of the conference was to give people something to think about beyond the negative aspects of the disease.
Instead the event focused on the positives, most importantly that out of the public eye scientists are coming up with new ways to treat dementia and are coming close to finding a way to beat it all together.
Opening the conference, Mr Jones said: “The purpose of this event is simple - to learn and share and then question what progress is being made in terms of medical research in defeating dementia.
“The issue of dementia is hugely important for us. We all probably know people who are affected by it, but there are around 800,000 in the UK who are living with dementia.
“We can see this problem is growing and the NHS are projecting that we will have one million people living with dementia in the UK by 2027.
“Research is the key and dementia can only be defeated by research.”
Speakers at the event included Alzheimer’s Research UK policy and public affairs advisor Katy Schneider, Chris Morris from the Brain Tissue Resource at Newcastle University, and Professor of Neurogenetics at the University of Manchester Stuart Pickering-Brown, all of whom are working on different aspects of treating the disease.
Professor Pickering-Brown told the audience that Alzheimer’s Disease is caused by a build up of a naturally produced protein called amyloid.
He said: “We know how to cure Alzheimer’s Disease mechanistically, we have just got to work out how to grow amyloid.”
Speaking about the difficulties of developing a treatment for dementia, Miss Scheider also touched on the importance of research.
She said: “We are working to refine brain science so we can see the ways dementia affects, but that technology is still developing.
“There is currently no treatment for dementia. There are a number of drugs that address the symptoms rather than modifying the disease that causes dementia, and that is something research is still working towards.
“There are 44million people living with dementia world wide and that is increasing in developing nations across the world. The UK is leading the way in prioritising research.
“It is economically important to do the research, not just because it would make a massive difference to people’s lives, but becuase it would impact the NHS and unpaid carers.”