Without effective treatments, one in three children born today will die with dementia. Dementia’s impact is devastating – not just for the person affected, but for those around them.

Caused by complex diseases that destroy brain cells, dementia ultimately leaves people unable to think, move or communicate with the people they love.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK's leading dementia research charity, dedicated to causes, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and cure. Backed by our passionate scientists and supporters, we’re challenging the way people think about dementia, uniting the big thinkers in the field and funding the innovative science that will deliver a cure.

  • 850,000 people are estimated to be living with dementia in the UK.
  • Globally, the numbers of people living with dementia will increase from 50m in 2018 to 152m in 2050, a 204% increase.
  • One in three people born in the UK this year will develop dementia in their lifetime.
  • The current cost of dementia in the UK is £26bn.

Syncona is helping us make breakthroughs possible for people with dementia

The ongoing, generous support of The Syncona Foundation has helped us bring about a step-change in the dementia research landscape by investing in key initiatives such as:

  • Our Drug Discovery Alliance, which unites three dedicated Drug Discovery Institutes, all working to translate new findings from academic research into potential treatments as quickly as possible. Across all three Institutes they are currently working on over 20 potential new drugs for dementia.
  • Our Early Detection of Neurodegenerative diseases initiative, aimed at radically improving the early detection of the diseases that cause dementia. This ground-breaking project aims to develop an inexpensive, easy-to-use device that can detect a disease like Alzheimer’s 10-15 years earlier than we can today.
  • The UK Dementia Research Institute, a world-leading institute, made up of hundreds of world-class scientists across Institutes in England, Scotland and Wales. These experts are working on programmes focused on understanding the diseases that cause dementia, looking for ways to detect and tackle disease processes, and unravelling the factors that affect our risk.
  • Our annual Research Conference, which brings together scientists from across dementia research to share the latest ideas and forge new collaborations. In 2020, the conference moved online, with over 263 contributors getting involved, ensuring worldwide knowledge in dementia science continued to grow, and in 2023 the conference became a hybrid event with in-person and virtual elements.

Testimonials – the power of dementia research

Former management consultant Shaheen Larrieux has experienced the heartbreak of dementia first-hand. Her mother, Hosna, was 54 years old when Shaheen first noticed something was wrong. Hosna had begun to act out of character, struggling to undertake her usual work for the family accountancy business and behaving oddly.

Several years later, Shaheen noticed her father start to change too. Both were developing dementia.

“When I look back, I can clearly see how the disease started with changes in Mum’s behaviour. It started out with a lot of aggression and socially inappropriate behaviour, but at first no-one attributed it to a medical issue. It was a long hard struggle to understand that Mum has a degenerative brain disease, and it’s heart breaking to know that there are no treatments that could help her or my dad.

We must develop effective new treatments for all forms of dementia to stop this devastation for other families.”


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Alzheimer’s Society