Searching for new ways to detect and treat Alzheimer's Disease
Dementia is a devastating disease that changes lives – not only for those with the disease but for their families too. It currently affects 820,000 people in the UK.
Two-thirds of people with dementia do not get a formal diagnosis.
Dementia UK (press release 26 October 2010 on National Dementia Declaration)
Scientists suggest people with Alzheimer's disease clear a damaging protein from their brains more slowly than those who are healthy.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, affecting around 465,000 people in the UK. Currently there is no straightforward test for Alzheimer's disease or for any other cause of dementia. A diagnosis is usually made by excluding other causes which present similar symptoms. There is also currently no cure for Alzheimer's disease, although some drug treatments are available that can ameliorate the symptoms or slow down the disease progression in certain people.
Professor David Allsop
Professor David Allsop, of the School of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University, is interested in the pathological role of misfolded “amyloid” proteins in a range of different human diseases, including some important neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and the transmissible prion disorders. His research is concerned with the mechanism of formation and deposition of protein aggregates, the relationship between protein aggregation and neurodegeneration, and in novel approaches to diagnosis and therapy.
At the Institute of Nanotechnology’s forthcoming landmark Conference Advanced Technologies for an Ageing Population, to be held in Glasgow on 23 - 24 March 2010, Professor Allsop will consider the role of a class of protein aggregates called Aβ oligomers as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis and progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, and as a target for possible therapeutic intervention.
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