Get ready for Race Against Dementia Day on Sunday 21 January! We will be celebrating Lady Stewart’s birthday, the inspiration behind our charity.
Lady Stewart was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2016, making this day meaningful in our urgent mission to find a cure for dementia.
I’m sorry Jackie, we don’t have a cure for it
“I knew nothing about dementia before Helen was diagnosed. And when I asked them, “When can we get something done about it?” and they said, “I’m sorry Jackie, we don’t have a cure for it”, that was just devastating.” ~ Sir Jackie Stewart
Sir Jackie Stewart, a three-time World Champion racing driver, was amazed that despite advancements in Formula 1 technology, the UK was lagging in healthcare, especially for dementia, which now has 55 million people living with the disease.
Married for 60 years and with a lack of faith in the current situation, Sir Jackie directed his attention toward supporting early-career dementia researchers in search of solutions.
Race Against Dementia now has 18 groundbreaking researchers working tirelessly.
Dr Adekunle Bademosi’s research focuses on frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which harms the parts of the brain controlling movement, problem-solving, memory, social behaviour, and other important functions.
In FTD patients, post-mortem brain samples show clusters of harmful proteins in some brain cells. Normally, these cells have a way to clean up these proteins, but in FTD, this process doesn’t work.
Adekunle uses powerful imaging tools to see these proteins in test neurons before, during, and after they build up. His research has the potential to lead to an early test for FTD before symptoms show up and help test new drugs on these protein clusters before clinical trials.
Dr Maura Malpetti is researching the role of inflammation in dementia and how symptoms progress. She uses special brain scans and blood tests to measure and predict the illness.
Maura focuses on a group of conditions called frontotemporal lobar degeneration, which causes both dementia and movement problems. She uses new methods to measure inflammation in specific brain areas and follows volunteers over many years. She validates her findings with brain tissue from volunteers who donated their brains for research.
Want to support the pioneering dementia research our charity is funding and celebrate Race Against Dementia Day with us? You can support Destiny’s Tide’s 5,000km race across the Atlantic, The Telegraph’s Christmas Charity Appeal or you can set yourself a personal challenge and join the race here.
Main image: © Grand Prix Photo