Alan Duttine, founder of Airedale International Air Conditioning, died aged 70 following a diagnosis for frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
The condition left him to unable read, write and communicate through speech.
After his death in 2015, The Lyndal Tree Foundation, which Alan founded in 2008 to issue grants to good causes, decided to support a dementia research project led by Dr Adrian Isaacs.
Now Lyndal Tree has awarded a six-figure sum to fund Dr Isaac’s research into a faulty gene linked to the debilitating FTD condition.
Alan’s widow, Lynda Duttine, a Lyndal Tree Foundation trustee, said: “We are aware of how much more is needed to advance dementia research and wanted to help Alzheimer’s Research UK in not only supporting this, but also their aim of overcoming some of the misunderstandings and stigma around dementia.
“Alan was a hard-working man who achieved great success in his life but he was first and foremost a family man, and we’re proud to support such a worthy cause in his honour.”
The grant will fund research by Dr Isaacs, of University College London. He is building on the landmark 2011 discovery of a faulty gene called C9orf72.
Dr Isaacs aims to unravel how this faulty gene leads to toxic proteins building up in nerve cells and to identify how this causes damage.
He said: “I am extremely grateful for the support of the Lyndal Tree Foundation, and knowing the Duttine family’s personal experience of FTD spurs me on in my work.”