Fundraising News: Grants - Susanne Sorensen, head of research, Alzheimer's Society ...


What is the project and when will it start? To conduct new research into treatments for Alzheimer's disease using stem cells. Stem cells can develop into any of the cell types in the body, meaning they have the potential to repair brain cells damaged by neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's.

The research will involve injecting stem cells into mice modified to develop the disease. The injected stem cells will contain an agent that aims to prevent cell death and stimulate the growth of new cells. This will allow researchers to establish whether the injection of stem cells helps prevent memory loss in mice, and if the treatment may one day be effective in treating the disease in humans.

Do you need further funding? No, this grant will cover the entirety of the research project.

How many trusts or foundations did you apply to for this funding? Since the Alzheimer's Society has already received a grant for research into reducing sedative use in the treatment of Alzheimer's, we were unable to apply for a fresh grant from the Community Fund. To get around this problem, the Alzheimer's Society applied for the money as a co-operative with the Alzheimer's Research Trust, though the Alzheimer's Society remains the lead partner. Research into stem cells was a high scoring priority for lay members of the Alzheimer's Society, who felt that research into stem cell treatment offered the best hope of a cure for the condition.

Which of your other projects has the fund previously supported? The Alzheimer's Society received a Community Fund grant to see if targeted training of care staff could reduce the use of high levels of sedatives to treat challenging behaviour in Alzheimer's sufferers.

Was the application a simple process? The application was a time-consuming process to say the least. It was complicated and required a significant amount of time and attention.

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