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Southampton researcher de-stigmatises dementia in powerful charity campaign

University of Southampton researcher, Dr Jay Amin, has taken the spotlight in a new charity film exploring Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB).

The film is part of Alzheimer’s Research UK and Ricoh’s joint campaign, Dementia Uncovered, which highlights the many physical diseases that cause dementia, as well as the scientists striving to bring about new dementia treatments.

Dr Amin’s research into DLB in Southampton focusses on inflammation, a process implicated in the progression of the disease.

Around 100,000 live with DLB in the UK and it has an enormous impact on people’s lives. The disease leads to complex symptoms that can include memory and thinking problems, movement difficulties and disturbing visual hallucinations.

The national campaign is launched as the Alzheimer’s Research UK also reveals that nearly half (46 per cent) of UK adults are unable to name a single type of dementia. The survey carried out by YouGov survey also shows that when prompted, most UK adults (92 per cent) had heard of Alzheimer’s disease, but only five per cent had heard of DLB.

Dr Amin stars in a film, directed by Gemma Brady (24 Hours in A&E), discussing the complexity of Dementia with Lewy bodies and the hope he has from his own research in the region to tackle the condition.

He said: “It’s a privilege to be able to see and work with patients in clinic. Over 20,000 people in Hampshire alone have dementia and I know how hard it can be for people with DLB, their friends and families. I hope that this campaign will help raise awareness of DLB, which is the third most common cause of dementia and has devastating effects. By talking about the pioneering research taking place, it shows there’s hope that with the right support we can and will develop a treatment.”

Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “These eye-opening survey results show that while many people recognise Alzheimer’s disease as a cause of dementia and 92 per cent associate memory loss with the condition, far fewer can name other forms of dementia or the wide range of symptoms they bring. It’s important that people realise the condition is far more than just memory loss.

“We are delighted to be working with Ricoh on this important campaign once again. We’re incredibly grateful to the commitment and dedication of the researchers like Dr Amin whose work is so crucial. Dementia research is making progress and with support from the public and companies like Ricoh, we can make breakthroughs possible.”

David Mills, Chief Executive Officer of Ricoh, added: “Since the launch of our partnership in 2017, we have worked with Alzheimer’s Research UK on a number of initiatives to help raise awareness of dementia. We are proud of this new campaign and hope that it will challenge common misconceptions around dementia and provide a powerful insight into the lives of people with the condition and scientists striving to find ways to prevent, treat and cure these debilitating diseases.”

Original source: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/medicine/news/2019/11/21-southampton-researcher-apart-of-charity-campaign.page