Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Pioneer Honoured for Dementia Research

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

North Pioneer Honoured for Dementia Research

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael Brown Reporter m.brown@ncjmedia.co.uk

APIONEERING North East professor has scooped a international lifetime achievement award for his research into dementia.

Professor Ian McKeith, who works at Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing, received a Bengt Winbald Lifetime Achievement Award in Alzheimer's Disease Research at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, DC.

The accolade acknowledges the academic's groundbreaking work which led to the first diagnosis and treatment of Lewy Body dementia, a condition thought to affect more than 100,000 people in the UK.

"I feel very honoured to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award in a field where there's a lot of high-quality research and science taking place," said Prof McKeith.

"Newcastle is known to those around the world involved in dementia as a centre of research excellence in this field, and I'm delighted to have been given this accolade to show that Newcastle continues to lead the way.

"Newcastle University, Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust have supported dementia research over a long period of time and this has been possible thanks to the enormous contributions patients in the North East have made to help us with our investigations."

Dementia with Lewy bodies - also known as Lewy body dementia - is a type of dementia that shares symptoms with both Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease, and may account for around 10% of all cases of the disease.

Lewy bodies, named after the doctor who first identified them, are tiny deposits of protein in nerve cells.

Currently researchers don't fully understand why Lewy bodies appear in the brain, or exactly how they contribute to dementia. However their presence is often seen alongside low levels of important chemical messengers and a loss of connections between nerve cells - which ultimately leads to nerve cell death and a loss of brain tissue. …

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