Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain condition that impacts a person’s ability to think and function. It is the most common form of dementia, the term used for a set of symptoms including memory loss, personality changes and problems with language.

Alzheimer’s is progressive which means that over time more of the brain is affected increasing in severity.

There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. Treatment can help slow mental decline in mild to moderate cases, but the cause and progression of Alzheimer’s disease are still not well understood.

Who is affected?

Around 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia, 62 per cent of whom have Alzheimer’s. 

Most people with Alzheimer’s in the UK are over the age of 65 but it can develop earlier. There are over 40,000 people under the age of 65 with dementia.

How we help

We fund research into Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia, research that aims to understand how Alzheimer’s affects the brain and how it may be prevented in future.

We have funded two major pieces of research:

  • An investigation into the genetic risk factors for late onset Alzheimer’s. Led by renowned geneticist, Professor John Hardy, at UCL Institute of Neurology’s Department of Molecular Neuroscience. Read more.
  • Research into genes linked to neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s using the genetic material available at UCL Institute of Neurology. Led by Dr Patrick Lewis, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Neurology Department of Molecular Neuroscience. Read more.