Dementia centre set to develop innovative treatments

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THE launch of a new dementia research centre in Hull will see more people offered innovative treatments for the disease, experts hope.

Local MPs Alan Johnson and Diana Johnson will attend the official launch of the NHS Dementia Research Centre at the Humber NHS Foundation Trust Memory Clinic in Hull tomorrow.

Last month at the first G8 summit on the disease, David Cameron announced plans to double the UK’s investment in research to £122m to try and find a cure or disease-halting therapy by 2025.

One of six five-year programmes, the £5m ‘Promoting Independence in Dementia’ scheme will be rolled out across the region by University College London, Humber NHS Foundation Trust and Hull University.

The aim is that more people locally with dementia will be identified so they can access therapies and benefit from the latest research.

Doubts have been expressed over the advantages of early diagnosis, as drug treatments may only last six months.

However Hon Professor Esme Moniz-Cook, who leads dementia research for the trust and the university, said: “While that may be true here are lots of lifestyle, social and psychological therapies that people and their families can use which helps them live well for much longer – and in some cases up to 10 years.”

Treatments include Digital Reminiscence Therapy which uses computer software to create digital life-story books, communication support and interactive games for patients and their carers that prompts recollections that can form the basis of conversations and promote well-being.

Chief executive of Humber NHS Foundation Trust David Snowdon said: “A diagnosis of dementia is, of course, devastating both for the patient and also for their loved ones. However, identifying the condition early enables patients to plan their own care while they are still able to make important decisions about their future.

“Psycho-social treatments and other therapies are available here in the Humber region to help mitigate the degenerative effects of the condition.”