BHF and UK DRI to create vascular dementia research centre
19 Nov 2023
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) will establish the UK’s first research centre dedicated to finding new treatments for vascular dementia.
The BHF intends to invest £7.5 million over five years, with UK DRI contributing £1.5 million and providing access to its state-of-the-art technology and research centres.
Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia, affecting around 150,000 people in the UK.
Attributed to poor blood flow to the brain, which starves nerve cells of oxygen and nutrients they need to live, causing nerve cells in the affected areas of the brain to die.
Although possible to modify risk factors of vascular dementia, currently no treatments can halt or reverse its progression, and there is no cure.
It is estimated that, by 2050, the number of people living with vascular dementia in the UK will reach 350,000 – double the present levels.
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “With around 13,000 people sadly losing their lives to the disease each year in the UK, it is vital we find new ways to prevent, halt and treat vascular dementia.
He added the project would need the support of supporters to pave the way for the first effective treatments for the condition.
UK DRI Director Professor Siddharthan Chandran, whose organisation is the UK’s leading research institute dedicated to studying a range of neurodegenerative diseases, said:
“The condition accounts for between 15-30% of all cases of dementia, but it has not received nearly the same level of research attention and is vastly underfunded, with few clinical trials ongoing.
“I am confident that discoveries made at the new centre will dramatically improve clinical care and quality of life for the millions of people affected by vascular dementia.”
Following its launch, the centre will recruit a Director and four new group leaders to join the three already working at the UK DRI.
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