Monday 18 December 2017
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DNA changes affect age of dementia onset

Exciting research which sheds light on the processes that take place during early onset dementia was revealed at an event in London
Dr Emma Jones from Kings College was speaking at a research roadshow hosted by Alzheimer's Society.

Dr Jones has found that it is not just changes within specific genes that can affect the age that a person develops dementia but that changes outside of these genes may also be important. She found that if a small section of DNA was present close to the Alzheimer's associated gene, APP, then individuals developed dementia earlier.

Dr Susanne Sorensen, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Society, says,

'This exciting project sheds light on the processes that take place during early onset dementia. It will improve our understanding of how genetics cause the changes that occur in the brain. In the future this work could help clinicians to identify people who are likely to develop dementia by examining their genetic makeup.'

The audience, which included carers and people with dementia, also got the opportunity to learn about how Alzheimer's Society funds research, and how they can get involved in the charity's research programme.

Dr Sorensen continues,

'One of the aims of the event was to recruit new volunteers to our Research Network, which plays a role in deciding what research we fund. We now need more people to get involved to ensure the Society's research projects meet the needs and concerns of people with dementia and their carers. Please get in touch if you would like to help.'


Shirley Nurock is a volunteer with the Research Network and former carer. She says,

'I became involved because the voice of the carers in the Research Network is incredibly important. We understand the effects that this devastating illness can have on the families of those affected and feel that our personal experiences add a fresh perspective to the way researchers set about their work.'

The event took place at Dragon Hall, Stukeley Street in Covent Carden

If you would like more information, please visit alzheimers.org.uk/research or if you would like to get involved in the research group, please email Matt Murray matt.murray@alzheimers.org.uk or call him on 020 7423 3603.