Alzheimer's Research Trust

GJ Livanos House, Granhams Road Cambridge CB2 5LQ
Tel: (01223) 843899 Fax: (01223) 843325

Read the Commentary on the NICE report and download the document.

About Us - Click here for names of the Trustees and the Scientific Advisory Board

This report was prepared for the Alzheimers Research Trust by Ana Lowin, Paul McCrone and Martin Knapp at the Centre for the Economics of Mental Health, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. July 2000

The Alzheimer’s Research Trust (ART), launched in 1993, is a national charity that supports research into the causes of neurodegenerative diseases with the aim of preventing or treating Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and similar conditions and disseminates the results.

Despite the fact that the UK’s 500,000 sufferers cost the health and social services double the amount of those with cancer or heart disease, research into Alzheimer’s disease is very under-funded (£11 per sufferer per year spent on research compared with £289 on cancer), yet it offers the only realistic hope for relief from the increasing misery and financial and social burdens of this terrible disease.

ART recognises that the only way that a real impact on the disease can be made is through biomedical research. The three strands of the current strategy to which it has committed £3.5 million until 2006 are:

1. A Network linking eleven of the strongest UK centres of AD research, each headed by an internationally distinguished Co-ordinator.Click here for more.

The Network Members share data and findings, pool resources when advantageous and have an annual conference to exchange ideas and results.They are linked electronically and share a private website. A Network of Alzheimer’s researchers linked in this manner is a unique concept in the UK, and significantly benefits the national research effort. The centres involved in the Network are in Aberdeen, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dundee, London (Institute of Neurology), London (Institute of Psychiatry), Manchester, Nottingham, Newcastle and Oxford. Each centre receives £12,000 per year for the Network link and £5000 core funding for “conference and consumables”. This project is supported by Lloyd’s Charities Trust.

2.   Investment in the future of AD research through a PhD programme. Click here for more.

3.      Investment in major multidisciplinary research groups.

The Trust advertises grants of around half a million pounds for major research projects by multi-disciplinary groups.  With the help of The Peacock Trust and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, it has awarded 5-year grants as follows:

a)      A group in Cambridge led by Dr Michel Goedert FRS is developing innovative experimental models for the brain pathology in Alzheimer's disease, which is also directly relevant to Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s disease. This grant is for £505,000.

b)      Professor Simon Lovestone and his group at the Institute of Psychiatry at The Maudsley Hospital, London, will investigate an early, simple and definitive diagnostic test for Alzheimer's. This grant is for £500,000.

c)      Dr Clive Ballard at the Institute of Health for the Elderly, Newcastle, together with Professor Robin Jacoby at Oxford University, will investigate whether neuroleptics – drugs commonly used to control antisocial behaviour in dementia patients – actually accelerate the disease.  This will have huge implications for treatment by clinicians. This grant is for £300,000.

In addition, the Trust is investing £50,000 each for two new imaging suites at important university venues, after an open competition:

Bristol – The George John Livanos Imaging Suite

Newcastle – The Roland Boyes Imaging Suite

This brings the Trust’s spending and commitments to over £3.5 million.

With the help of The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph, we are launching a further £1 million of new grants this year.