BHF and UKDRI announce first UK centre for vascular dementia research

The centre will help discover new treatments to prevent, halt and cure the condition

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI) have announced plans to establish the first research centre for vascular dementia research in the UK.

The new centre will help discover new treatments to prevent, halt and cure the condition.

Caused by poor blood flow to the brain, which deprives nerve cells of the oxygen and nutrients needed to survive, vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia.

At present, the condition affects around 150,000 people in the UK and is set to double by 2050.

The new centre aims to virtually unite researchers from around the world to accelerate the discovery and search for new treatments to combat the condition.

Despite risk factors for vascular dementia that are already possible to modify, including high blood pressure, there is currently no treatment that can halt or reverse its progression.

The collaboration builds on the UKDRI’s current research into a range of neurodegenerative diseases and could accelerate research into vascular dementia, which is currently underfunded.

Over the next five years, the BHF and UKDRI will invest a total of £9m to drive pioneering research into the condition and the UKDRI will enable access to its cutting-edge technology and research centres.

Following its launch, the Vascular Dementia Centre will internationally recruit a ‘world-leading’ director and four new group leaders to join three existing group leaders in the UKDRI working in vascular dementia across key research themes.

Professor Nilesh Samani, BHF medical director, said: “The BHF-UKDRI Vascular Dementia Centre… will provide an international platform for world-leading collaborations that will accelerate the global search for a cure.”

Professor Siddharthan Chandran, director of the UKDRI, said: “The new collaboration represents a major step forward in our efforts to address the knowledge gap in vascular dementia.

“I am confident that discoveries made at the new centre will dramatically improve clinical care and quality of life for the millions of people affected by vascular dementia.”

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