Collaboration is the way to success to tackle Alzheimer’s Disease

Young and old hands clasping

The last year has been an exciting one for research into Alzheimer’s disease. At the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference last year, the commitment of individuals all over the world to find a solution to Alzheimer’s disease was entirely evident, with research being presented that covered genetics, neuroimaging and clinical research.

The burden of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease on families, the healthcare system and the economy is one that is becoming increasingly clear. This year for the first time, the number of the aged will exceed that of the young. Worldwide, the number of people over 65 will be greater than the number of children under 5.

This aging population means that the number of people in the UK with dementia is steadily increasing, and is expected to reach 2 million by 2050, with a cost to the UK economy currently standing at around £23 billion.

There is a global effort to face the issue head-on, and collaborations between researchers, charities and governments will be central to any success.

 We will not defeat dementia by working in isolation. Bringing together diverse ideas, expertise and resources through collaborative research is essential if we are to find disease modifying treatments to help the growing number of people in this country living with dementia.


Dr Laura Phipps
Science Communications Manager, Alzheimer’s Research UK

Conferences, associations, charities and societies are being set up and organized all over the world to approach the issue of dementia. In the past year, further collaborations have been put forward nationally and internationally.

The G8 summit met in December 2013 and concluded with a declaration to build a joint international effort to approach the problem of dementia. It aims to do by significantly increasing the amount spent on dementia research.

The World Dementia Council met in London for the first time, which aims to encourage the development of drugs, treatments and care for people with dementia, or at risk of dementia, within a generation.

Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy aims to be a part of this global effort, through publishing high quality research that is instantly accessible worldwide through open access. As part of this, the journal is inviting research submissions for two thematic series: ‘cerebral multi-morbidity of the aging brain’ and ‘the impact of acute and chronic medical disorders on accelerated cognitive decline’. Articles can be submitted through Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy.

On the importance of collaboration, Dr Laura Phipps, Science Communications Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, comments:

“We will not defeat dementia by working in isolation. Bringing together diverse ideas, expertise and resources through collaborative research is essential if we are to find disease modifying treatments to help the growing number of people in this country living with dementia.”

“We look forward to this year’s Alzheimer’s Research UK conference being full of stimulating discussion and new approaches, acting as a catalyst for new collaborations to form. Our unique Research Network, which spans the UK, further acts to provide biomedical dementia researchers with opportunities to work together to tackle the country’s largest health challenge.”

The Alzheimer’s Research UK conference, which last year was held in Oxford, is the UK’s largest dementia research conference, attracting over 300 delegates. The meeting report which summarized current dementia research from fundamental disease mechanisms to clinical studies from the conference has been published in Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. This year the conference is being held in London, from the 10-11th March 2015.

Go to the conference, showcase your research, and collaborate with your peers. Alzheimer’s disease is a challenge that affects everyone worldwide, a challenge that we can only overcome if we tackle it together.

Recent articles published by Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy have emphasized the role that charities and global initiatives, such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging initiative, play in supporting people suffering from dementia and progressing research.

The Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2015 has now sold out. You can follow highlights from the conference on the Alzheimer’s Research UK blog.

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