The defying dementia project aims to raise funds and awareness of the research at Lancaster into Alzheimer's and neurodegenerative diseases.

Dr Penny Foulds and Professor David Allsop are leading a fundraising and awareness campaign called 'Defying Dementia' in response to Alzheimer’s disease research at Lancaster. Several years ago our scientists (including Allsop) developed a drug that blocks the formation of the ‘senile plaques’ that are found in the brains of victims of Alzheimer’s disease/dementia. The drug blocks these plaques from forming along with their toxic effect on brain cells. It is highly stable in the body and it has recently been discovered that the drug does preserve memory.

Unfortunately, the laboratory work has reached the end of funding from Research Councils, but the drug is not developed to the standard where it could be adopted by the pharmaceutical industry. This is where the fundraising campaign comes in. To reach human clinical trials, the Defying Dementia campaign must raise £85,000. This total includes costs such as toxicity testing on cells and drug metabolising enzymes to see if the compound has any toxic side effects on the major organ systems in the body.

The campaign has been featured on BBC North West Tonight and in local newspapers. The aim is to raise awareness of not only the research, but of the disease itself.

You can find more information on www.lancaster.ac.uk/defyingdementia and support the campaign through the donation page www.justgiving.co.uk/defyingdementia

Professor David Allsop says, 'With your help, we will carry on the experiments needed to take our drug closer to the point where it can be used by people with Alzheimer's disease. We are committed in developing this desperately needed drug to help people with dementia, but we need your help to raise the funds needed to get this drug to Phase I Human Clinical Trials and beyond!'