Last week I visited Cardiff University to see how they are working with Alzheimer’s Research UK to lead the fight against dementia.

Currently 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK, including approximately 3,700 in Cardiff alone and we urgently need better ways to treat and prevent the diseases that cause it.

During this visit, I witnessed projects at Cardiff University that investigate the impact of ageing, gender and genetics on Alzheimer’s disease and the development of potential new treatments.

As one of 15 national hubs for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Research Network, this centre of excellence has been awarded £50,000 in funding and brought together scientists from a variety of disciplines, allowing them to pool their expertise and share ideas and resources. Dementia researchers at the University have been working on collaborative projects since 2004 and have identified 27 genes that contribute to the risk of developing late onset Alzheimer’s, allowing scientists to better understand the ways they can beat this devastating disease.

Dr Emma Kidd, Reader in Pharmacology at Cardiff University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, accompanied me on the tour and talked me through her most recent work on understanding the contribution of ageing and gender to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. I also met other members of her research team who demonstrated some of the research methods they are using to help defeat dementia.

I very much enjoyed seeing the innovative work taking place at Cardiff University. It makes me very proud as the local MP to see one of our local universities at the forefront of the fight against dementia. Dementia affects hundreds of thousands of people across the UK and the work going on here with the help of Alzheimer’s Research UK is vital to give hope to future generations, and bring us closer to discovering a treatment or cure.

I thank all of the research team for their hard work.

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