The official charity for Chariots of Fire 2017


Alzhimer's Research UK Logo

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Their vision is to create a world free from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia, and to achieve this they fund world-class research at universities and centres across the UK.

Their funding has helped to discover over 21 risk genes for Alzheimer’s, unlocking new avenues for research. Their team of Cambridge scientists have pioneered cutting-edge new stem cell approaches to studying Alzheimer’s and screening new drugs, and the charity is committed to funding research with the greatest potential to benefit those living with dementia and their

Why Alzheimer’s Research UK needs your support

It may come as a surprise to hear that there’s a link between dementia and Down’s syndrome. Around half of people with Down’s syndrome develop Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, by their 50s and there are 40-60,000 people in the UK with Down’s syndrome.

Picture2Prof Tony Holland leads a Cambridge team that has been working with people with Down’s syndrome for almost two decades to understand its link with dementia.

In this new project, Prof Holland’s team will use state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques to track the early changes taking place in the brains of volunteers with Down’s syndrome. This includes the build-up of two hallmark Alzheimer’s proteins in the brain, which is known to happen years before symptoms show.

The researchers are using techniques to highlight the levels of these proteins in the brain on PET brain scans. They can compare these brain scans with other scans that show brain structure, as well as combining this insight with information about how well their volunteers can think and remember. This vital project will allow the research team to build a picture of what happens in the brains of people with Down’s syndrome over time.

Prof Holland’s team hopes that by studying people with Down’s syndrome over two years, they will reveal when critical changes are taking place in the brain and highlight the windows of opportunity for future preventative treatments.

Russell Ramsey has been taking part in Prof Holland’s studies:

“I have two family members who have Alzheimer’s and it is so sad. I wanted to help with this study to help people with Alzheimer’s in the future, both people who have Down’s syndrome like me and other people living with the disease.”

The findings from this study have the potential to not only shed light on a critical period in the disease for preventative treatment in people with Down’s syndrome, but will also provide insight that could benefit everyone affected by Alzheimer’s. The answer lies in research.

To find out more about Alzheimer’s Research UK visit or call the team on 0300 111 5777.

To create a page and start fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK in the Chariots of Fire 2017 visit:


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