We were delighted to welcome a group of MPs to the UK DRI labs at UCL today, to discuss the significant impact of dementia to our society and the ground-breaking research seeking to change that.
Guests included Debbie Abrahams MP and Baroness Sally Greengross, Co-chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia (APPG) - a cross party group made up of MPs and Peers with an interest in dementia. Members of the Common’s Science and Technology Committee; Norman Lamb MP, Vicky Ford MP and Stephen Metcalfe MP also joined us. The guests were welcomed by UK DRI Director and COO, Adrian Ivinson and representatives from our charity funders, Alzheimer’s Society (AS) and Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK).
Jeremy Hughes, AS CEO, and Helen Davies, ARUK Head of Public Affairs, began the meeting by describing the scale of the dementia problem in the UK and what was currently being done to tackle this. One recent development has been an increase in public awareness of dementia-related conditions, aided by public engagement activities such as the Dementia Revolution – Charity of the Year for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon and a joint campaign run by AS and ARUK.
Next, Carli Pirie (below), a Dementia Revolution marathon runner, spoke passionately to the assembled members about her experiences of dementia, with a genetic form of Alzheimer’s disease present in her family. Adrian Ivinson concluded the meeting by outlining the main challenges in seeking effective treatments, the vision of the UK DRI and why more funding was needed to bridge the knowledge gaps in our understanding of the brain.