UCL News


UCL launches free online dementia course

20 January 2016

UCL has today announced a free four-week online course “The Many Faces of Dementia” aiming to provide valuable insights into dementia through the stories, symptoms and science behind four less common diagnoses. The interactive MOOC (massive open online course) features interviews with world-leading experts, people with dementia and their families as well as articles and discussion.

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It is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about dementia and may be of particular interest to those who interact with people living with dementia regularly such as family members, carers and health professionals. The course runs for four weeks, with two to three hours of online learning each week. It ran on 14 March 2016 and new dates have now been announced beginning on 11 July and 3 October.

Dementia describes a range of symptoms that can include memory loss, difficulties with thinking, problem-solving and language, and there are a number of different underlying causes. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, but there are many rarer causes which are not always well recognised.

Participants in the new course will learn about four less common causes of dementia: familial Alzheimer’s disease, behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and posterior cortical atrophy. By the end of the programme, participants should have a greater understanding of the symptoms and challenges posed by these diseases, and gain a new perspective on dementia more generally.

The course features world-leading dementia experts including Professor Nick Fox, director of the UCL Dementia Research Centre and Dr Cath Mummery, who is leading several trials at UCL investigating new dementia treatments. Professors Martin Rossor and John Hardy talk about their pioneering work on familial Alzheimer’s disease, which underpins much of modern dementia research and for which Professor Hardy was awarded the prestigious 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

“We hope that people who take the course will come out with new insights into dementia that they can apply in their personal and professional lives” says Dr Tim Shakespeare from the UCL Dementia Research Centre, who created and directs the course. “Participants will hear first-hand from the researchers who found the first gene that causes familial Alzheimer’s disease and the neurologists who are using these findings to trial new treatments at UCL. Importantly participants will also learn from experts by experience as people living with dementia and their families provide candid accounts of the challenges that dementia brings and how they face them. I am grateful to all of the people with dementia, family members and UCL experts who gave their time to be a part of the course.”



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Media contact

Harry Dayantis

Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 3844
Email: h.dayantis[at] ucl.ac.uk