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A Conversation with Alzheimer’s Research UK

Hollie, thanks ever so much for joining us today. Please can you tell us about Alzheimer’s Research UK and the important work that you do.


We are the UK’s leading dementia research charity, founded in 1992 and since then we have committed over 210 million to dementia research, at the moment we are funding 172 projects.


Continue reading or watch the full video HERE


Wow. That’s a huge number of projects!

It is! We have a review board and they meet twice a year, they are a panel of experts in the field, and they look through all the research going on, up and down the country. They are looking for high quality and what will have the best chance of finding new treatments for dementia.


As we know early diagnosis is vital for people, and for families, to give them time to learn, prepare and make plans for the future. What work is Alzheimer’s Research UK doing to support families?

Diagnosis is something we really want to work on and improve. Often diagnosis comes too late and can be a slow process. It can take families years to get a diagnosis. Recently together with Alzheimer’s Society were awarded 5 million by the People’s Postcode Lottery, to fund research into new blood tests for the NHS. At the moment diagnosis is often via brain scans or psychosometric tests which can take a long time to complete, and some services do not offer scans at all.

We would like blood tests to become a standard in the NHS to speed up diagnosis. We are hopeful the five million award from the postcode lottery will really help and speed up our research into that field.


Of course, a huge part of, your work at Alzheimer’s Research UK is to raise awareness about the risk of dementia. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

Raising awareness has been one of our focuses for many years. There are factors, such as age, that we cannot control. However, there are ways people can reduce their risk, and really it’s the same things that doctors say to you about your heart health. Advice like don’t smoke, don’t drink too much, being active, exercising, having a healthy balanced diet. But then for dementia things like keeping your brain active; reading, completing puzzles. If you have hobbies, keeping up with those, it is about keeping your brain active because like any muscle in your body, if you work it and keep it strong, it keeps it healthier.

Staying sociable, keeping your heart healthy, and staying connected to people is the best way to reduce your risk.


How can people lower the risk of Alzheimer’s through their diet?

By eating a healthy, balanced diet. As your doctor might say, not too much fat or sugar, plenty of fruits, vegetables, just a really varied, healthy, balanced diet with lots of colours. All the standard advice that has been said to us for years, for things like your heart health is the same for your brain health.


Your role at Alzheimers Research UK is within the Gifts and In Memory team. How important are these gifts for your work continued work?

1 in 3 of the research projects we fund are funded through gifts in Wills. So they are a really vital part to our charity, and we’re so grateful for every gift. They are a really special way you can give to Alzheimers Research UK because it costs you nothing in your lifetime. But you’re making sure that our research carries on long into the future.


Our hope is that one day we can live in a world where our children and grandchildren won’t have to suffer from this horrible condition and dementia will not be something they have to worry about. They don’t have to be large, lavish gifts. Most of our gifts are small, but all added together, they make a huge difference.


Please also make sure that you have a will. A recent survey has shown that half of UK adults don’t have a valid will. And this is really important. So, your family, friends, and the causes that you love are taken care of when the time comes.


If a family are considering leaving a gift, what would they need to do?

It is really easy to leave a gift in your will. You can add a charity like you would any other beneficiary to your will. All you need is our name and charity number, which is on our website, or you could get in touch with the team and we would be happy to help. There is a pack that we could send out if you would like to see more about gifts and wills.


Leave a gift in your Will – Alzheimer’s Research UK (


A lot of people like to fundraise as well, maybe run the marathon, climb a mountain or hold a coffee morning. What can people do to support Alzheimer’s Research UK by fundraising?

You can support us however you like, we do absolutely everything! You can run a marathon, you can walk up a mountain, do a bake sale or even come and be part of our cheer squads. So you do not necessarily have to fundraise, but you can volunteer for us, so come and cheer on the people that are running the marathons or you can become one of our collection tin volunteers, so there’s a whole wealth of ways you can help us. You can find out more on our website if you would like to, or get in touch with our team and we can help you further


What’s coming up next for Alzheimer’s Research UK?

We have recently launched our 10 year strategy and our three main goals in that is treatment, diagnosis and prevention. We want people to be able to access life changing treatment for dementia, to help people to be able to get an earlier and better. diagnosis and prevention. So we hope that fewer people will actually go on to develop dementia.

We have also recently rebranded and launched our new campaign called ‘Change the Ending.’  Change the Ending – subtitled version | Alzheimer’s Research UK – YouTube


Thank you so much for your time today and giving us an insight , into your world there at Alzheimer’s Research UK

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