On World Alzheimer’s Day (21 September), GMMH’s Research & Innovation team is reflecting on the work we are doing to better understand and treat dementia.
World Alzheimer’s Day aims to raise awareness of the scale of Alzheimer’s disease and all types of dementia. 900,000 people are living with dementia in Britain today, with millions more caring for their loved ones. One person in the UK is diagnosed with dementia every three seconds, and 60% of these diagnoses are caused by Alzheimer’s disease. Dementia is now the UK’s leading cause of death,1 and it is important that we raise awareness, reduce stigma and support those living with dementia.
Over 20,000 people in Greater Manchester are living with dementia, and our Memory Assessment and Treatment Services (MATS) are receiving more referrals than ever. These services provide vital diagnostic and therapeutic services to people with dementia at every stage of the disease.
Most people with a diagnosis of dementia in the UK are diagnosed in mental health trusts, including GMMH. Beyond diagnosing and caring for those suffering with dementia, we want to be part of the solution. That’s why we are home to the Greater Manchester Dementia Research Centre (GMDRC) – the region’s leading clinical trial unit for the diseases causing dementia.
Over the last ten years, GMDRC has connected people living with dementia with cutting-edge studies, working alongside industry and academic partners, such as The University of Manchester, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and Health Innovation Manchester to better understand the underlying causes and symptoms of all kinds of dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease
Recently, GMMH has initiated brainHealth Manchester in collaboration with partners in Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Care Alliance NHS Foundation Trust and the UK’s Brain Health Coalition.
brainHealth Manchester is a new ‘pathway’ to help diagnose the underlying diseases causing dementia. The package of advanced neuroimaging, cognitive tests and new molecular biomarkers allows specialists to diagnose the diseases underlying dementia before they cause any disability at all.
In August, brainHealth Manchester was shortlisted for the Health Service Journal Awards under the ‘Modernising Diagnostics’ category, with the awards ceremony being held on 16th November.
brainHealth Manchester will allow service users to have better knowledge and choice when it comes to making decisions around their illness and future care, as well as making it easier to participate in some of the groundbreaking research taking place in GMMH.
GMMH and GMDRC continue their work in researching treatments to help slow the disease or improve symptoms, as well as new and simpler ways to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, from a single drop of blood to a brain scan.