We all hope to live a long and healthy life yet one in four people aged over 80 experiences symptoms of progressive memory loss. As the older population increases in size, so do the numbers directly affected by one or more of the group of brain diseases known as dementia.
Fundraising in support of our world-leading research into earlier diagnosis and improved treatment for dementia has been tremendous with a staggering £359,142 raised last year through a host of Life Cycle 5 activities. That money is enabling us to use our Nobel Prize-winning MRI research to underpin ways of understanding better how dementia affects the brain
But we want to do more. In a move to become a dementia-friendly university, The University of Nottingham is launching two important initiatives.
We are inviting our staff, students and alumni to become Dementia Friends as part of a national drive to help 4 million people to have a better understanding of dementia. We are also asking you to sign up to help research studies across the country which need subjects of all ages and from all walks of life. It takes less than 15 minutes to register with one or both groups.
You can sign up to one or both of these initiatives and find out more on the IDEA website.
What is a Dementia Friend and what do I have to do?
The Alzheimer’s Society provides basic information in an online video about dementia and registers people who have watched it as Dementia Friends. By viewing this short film you will gain understanding and be better able to act appropriately towards people with dementia in the university and in the wider community. You will be encouraged to tell your friends and family about the video and other resources available through the Alzheimer’s Society.
I’m a fit and healthy person so how can I help with the research?
‘Join Dementia Research’ is a database of people who are interested in taking part in research relating to dementia; its causes, potential cures and everyday care. Individuals provide information about themselves, it is stored in a confidential database and only released to accredited researchers. People can then be contacted about studies for which they are eligible.
You do not have to be diagnosed with dementia to register with Join Dementia Research – some studies require healthy volunteers, as well as carers or relatives of people with dementia. By signing up you increase your chances of being asked to consider taking part in ethically-approved dementia research. Although taking part in a research study may not be of immediate benefit to you, it might help people in the future.
Tom Dening, Professor of Dementia Research at the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham, said: “It would be great if Nottingham becomes a dementia-friendly University. It will signal what an important health and social issue dementia is. It will give an important message to everyone that The University of Nottingham is not just a leading centre for dementia research but also that it is committed to supporting all aspects of life affected by dementia. We hope that everybody connected with the University will consider helping us with this action.”
Dementia: University Challenge, 5.30pm Thursday 19 May
The School of Sociology and Social Policy and the Centre for Dementia Research, Institute of Mental Health welcome guest speakers Mary Marshall, Professor Emeritus, University of Stirling and Professor Gillian Manthorpe, Kings College, London for this free event.
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