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Bangor man given Alzheimer’s study grant

Resource type: News

The Community Telegraph |

A QUEEN’S academic from Bangor has been awarded £228,000 to further his research into how Alzheimer’s disease progresses. Dr Stephen Todd, who works in the Department of Geriatric Medicine at Queen’s, has been announced as the only Beeson Ireland 2008 scholar after a transatlantic panel peer-reviewed his proposal. The Beeson Award is the highest international accolade in Geriatric Medicine and is made to high calibre individuals seeking to advance research into ageing and medicine for older people. The funding is being provided by the American Foundation for Aging Research (AFAR) and the Atlantic Philanthropies. The grant will allow Dr Todd to continue research showing that an enzyme called beta-secretase had higher levels of activity in patients with Alzheimer’s compared with older people without the disease. Dr Todd, who graduated from Queen’s in July with an MD, explained: “The grant involves retesting as many as possible of 400 previous volunteers five years after their initial test. “We hope to determine if the initial level of beta-secretase activity influenced how the disease progressed over that time, or for people who had no memory problems initially, if it predicts subsequent development of memory problems. “This could be helpful to doctors in the future who may be able to advise patients and their relatives with greater accuracy how their disease will progress.” According to the Alzheimer’s Society there are 700,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to one million by 2025. Dr Todd’s award will be used for a three year project entitled Investigation of Platelet beta-secretase Activity in Alzheimer’s Disease.

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American Foundation for Aging Research, senior citizens