New dementia research funding in Sheffield confirmed on World Alzheimer's Day

Alzheimer’s Research UK has announced support for pioneering dementia research at the University of Sheffield.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 10:35 am
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 10:35 am
Researchers from the University of Sheffield have received new funding for dementia research

The funding, worth £15,000, will allow researchers to investigate genetic changes linked to a rarer form of the condition called frontotemporal dementia.

The news was confirmed on World Alzheimer’s Day.

The £15K of funding will allow Dr Ryan West and his team to identify the genetic changes in brains that cause a faulty protein to build up in the brain and damage nerve cells.

Dr Ryan West at the University of Sheffield, said: “The genetic C9orf72 mutation is thought to be responsible for around eight per cent of all FTD cases, making it an important target for potential new treatments. “Studying the effect of genetic changes in the brain is extremely challenging, but by studying fruit flies with features of FTD, we aim to further understand the processes that lead to loss of nerve cells in people.

“Fruit flies are well suited for this type of study, as around 75 per cent of the disease-causing genes in people are also found in flies.

"Their short life span makes it easy for us to measure how activity of certain genes changes over time as they age.

"We will use cutting edge techniques to compare the genes that are switched on and off in flies with features of FTD and look for clues to inform research into future treatments.”