York dementia scientists are back in the lab after three months away

Dementia researchers at the University of York are back in the lab resuming their pioneering work whilst complying with strict social distancing measures.

In Yorkshire, 60,000 people have dementia. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA

Alzheimer’s researchers in Dr Steve Quinn’s laboratory will work on a shift pattern over the coming weeks, enabling research activities to return close to 100 per cent capacity, after being unable to access their experiments for almost three months.

The work, funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, will use a state-of-the-art microscope to look at the interactions between proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease, which will paint a clearer picture of how the disease progresses and provide crucial insights for the development of new treatments.

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Dr Quinn said: “Just as research is vital in the fight against COVID-19, we know that research will help us to overcome dementia. We are determined to recover what we can from experiments that were interrupted at the start of lockdown, but our first experiments back hold promise for a new suite of experimental tools for detecting the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

“While this isn’t a full paced return, we will also look to start new experiments to complete our projects. We need to make sure we work safely to help avoid vital experimental work like this stalling again as COVID-19 is still out there and as hungry as ever.”

Head of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, Dr Rosa Sancho, said: “Dementia affects 60,000 people in Yorkshire alone, and nearly one million people across the UK. Research carried out by dementia experts like Dr Quinn is the only answer to a world free of the fear, harm and heartbreak of the condition.

“Alzheimer’s Research UK estimates it could be facing a potential drop in income due to COVID-19 of up to 45%, and dementia research has been hit hard by the pandemic. While all researchers will still have challenges to face, this physical return to work gives them and everyone affected by dementia hope that we will see progress in dementia research continue.

“Our funding for research like this would not be possible without donations from our fantastic supporters. Now more than ever, dementia research needs our backing. Anyone can donate to help dementia research regain momentum at alzres.uk/make-donation or by calling call 0300 111 5555.”