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20 October 2008
Researchers at Cardiff University, led by Professor Julie Williams at the School of Medicine, are collaborating with other leading UK institutions to find out more about the genetics behind Alzheimer’s disease.
The project will investigate the genetics of late-onset Alzheimer's disease and has been funded by the Alzheimer’s Research Trust following an award of £427,240 by the Big Lottery Fund.
The researchers will expand one of the world’s largest Alzheimer’s disease DNA collections using it to identify genetic variations that contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s.
Professor Julie Williams said: "Late-onset Alzheimer’s accounts for 99 per cent of cases of the disease, and there are more than 460,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer’s - 36,500 people in Wales have dementia. Finding genetic factors that contribute to late-onset Alzheimer’s will form a basis for further research towards treatments."
The findings will also be used to launch a public dissemination campaign to inform Alzheimer’s patients, their families and carers, of how genetics affects Alzheimer’s, and how this information might be used for diagnosis, prevention and treatment. The project will directly benefit over 63,000 Alzheimer’s patients and their family members, and also provide researchers around the world with a greater understanding of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said: "We are delighted that we have secured this major funding, which will help Cardiff University advance our understanding of the genetics of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Identification of these genetic factors will spur further vital research toward the treatments that we so desperately need. We receive no government funding for our research and rely on public donations, so the award from the Big Lottery Fund is a huge boost to the work of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust."
The project will work in partnership with the University of Nottingham, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, and University of Southampton.
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