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Secretary of State visits leading dementia research projects

11 December 2013

The Prime Minister today called for a global effort to tackle one of the greatest challenges of our time: dementia. UCL scientists, working with clinicians at the university's partner hospitals, are at the heart of the battle to treat the condition.

To better understand the challenges that lie ahead, the Secretary of State for Health Jeremy Hunt recently visited scientists and clinicians leading dementia research projects at the UCL Institute of Neurology and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN).

He visited the Dementia Research Centre, where he observed a routine assessment of memory, language, perceptual and other cognitive skills which relate directly to the progressive changes in the brain. Mr Hunt also saw how MRI brain scans can detect early change and track the progression of disease.

Professor Nick Fox (UCL Institute of Neurology) whose research involves improving diagnosis and tracking the very earliest stages of the diseases said:

“We desperately need to find better treatment for these devastating diseases - and at the same time we must improve the care and support for the growing numbers of families that will be affected.”

Professor Martin Rossor (Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) dementia and neurodegenerative research network (DeNDRoN)) said:

“Research into dementia requires investment across the whole spectrum from basic science to policy research. The research groups at the NHNN and the UCL Institute of Neurology are particularly focused on early phase research and experimental medicine. Research at the NHNN and UCL covers the whole spectrum from basic science to health service research.

“We were pleased to welcome the health secretary to tell him more about our work.”

The NHNN and UCL have benefited from considerable funding grants in the past 12 months which will accelerate the development of treatments and identify future therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative diseases, with the aim of earlier intervention for patients.

Text: UCLH Communications Unit

Links:

G8 Dementia Summit
UCLH news

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