This week was a milestone week for PREVENT. The first ever participant into the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia project, probably the biggest single research programme ever to prevent dementia, has been recruited in Edinburgh. Julie was already a participant in PREVENT having been seen earlier in the year. Not only was she happy to be involved in both projects, she and her husband Steve were keen to share their motivation for helping research with the media.
It is exactly the collaboration between researchers and participants that is the core of PREVENT’s success and we hope that this is also the case in EPAD.
There is massive optimism in the academic world and I think in the public at large that dementia is preventable. Work from Carol Brayne’s group is certainly pointing towards this and if we are making in-roads into the disease inadvertently – imagine what we could achieve with the whole weight of academic know how, public determination and finance. Last week the MRC, ARUK and Alzheimer’s Society (our main funder) announced the establishment of the Dementia Research Institute. £250M of funding over 5 years to dig deeper into the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
We expect to play a major part in that from our key academic centres in Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and Edinburgh. This can only be a goo thing BUT we need more support for the PREVENT project itself to achieve the recruitment target we need.
That is why we will soon launch our #Armyof1001 campaign to enrol 1000+ members into our membership programme by Dementia Awareness Week in 2017. We have a plan! It will officially launch the day we get our 1,001st Twitter Follower to @AD_PREVENT.
This will involve high profile meetings, concerts, celebrity endorsement and a social media blitz.
It’s only through being in projects like PREVENT that you can get involved with EPAD and EPAD can only develop the treatments we need so desperately if several thousand people collaborate.
Julie started this last week.