Harrogate and Knaresborough MP organises conference on Alzheimer’s research

Andrew Jones working with older people in Harrogate.
Andrew Jones working with older people in Harrogate.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones is organising a conference next week to bring to light advances in Alzheimer’s research.

In a bid to draw attention to the work taking place to defeat Alzheimer’s Disease - the most common form of dementia - Mr Jones is putting on the event in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK.

In part, he said, this is because the Harrogate district will be dramatically affected by the disease in the future.

In an interview with the Harrogate Advertiser, Mr Jones said: “This is such an important issue for our area. When one looks at all the challenges our country will be facing this is one of the biggest and Harrogate will be very much at the forefront.

“We know that one in three people aged over 85 will have cognitive impairment and we know that in our area we have the highest proportion of people in that age group in the north of England.

“That is why this matters and this has been the driving force behind my lasting interest. This is not a new interest for me, it is long-standing.”

The conference will feature a panel of experts alongside Mr Jones, including senior lecturer at the Institute of Neuroscience and the Institute of Aging and Health at Newcastle University Christopher Morris, professor of Neurogenetics at the University of Manchester Stuart Pickering, and Katy Schneider, policy and public affairs adviser at Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The goal behind this gathering of prominent people working in dementia and Alzheimer’s research is to highlight the importance of medical progress in helping people living with the disease by tackling it at the source.

Mr Jones said: “This is the only way to deal with dementia in the long term. It is about getting the medical research in place and encouraging people to be aware, because they are very generous with cancer research, which is completely reasonable, but there are other things to and Alzheimer’s research is under-funded.”

The significance of this research could mean a great deal for the Harrogate district, which is a top area in the UK for the highest levels of recorded dementia this year according to the health and social care information centre.

Alzheimer’s Research UK head of external affairs Hilary Evans said: “It is promising to see the government making dementia a national priority and vital that MPs like Andrew Jones commit to helping those in their constituencies learn more about the condition.”