Greetings to our friends, families and other potential supporters.
2017 is now upon us and is the year our little group of 6 (pictured above) will attempt to cycle from London to Paris as participants in an Alzheimer's Society charity ride.
We will be saddling up in London early on a Wednesday morning in July with the goal of crossing the Tour de France finish on the Champs D'Elysee in Paris 4 days and around 350 miles later, hopefully not entirely broken.
Except the odd mile or three to and from work most of us are not regular cyclists and 100 mile (160 km) days in the saddle are certainly not something most of us have done.
Dementia represents a major healthcare issue around the world. Unless we can do something about it it's impact is set to grow considerably in the coming decades. Multiple diseases contribute to the dementia population although Alzheimer's disease is the most prevalent. All of these conditions can be very distressing for patients as well as their family and carers. Our team know from personal experience that the Alzheimer's Society is a fantastic organisation. It supports both families impacted by dementia and funds important research in laboratories throughout the UK. Their website (https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/) is well worth a visit to see what they do with the money they raise.
The research efforts of all of our team have received the charity's support within the last few years. For example Dr Francesco Tamagnini (the one with the hat) is a current Alzheimer's Society research fellow; his works involves investigations of brain circuit malfunction caused by a key dementia-associated pathology called tauopathy. Dr Talitha Kerrigan's (third from left) research with stem cells is largely supported by an Alzheimer's Society project grant. Prof Jon Mill (on the left in dashing yellow) and Dr Eilis Hannon (second from left) are internationally regarded for their work into the genomic factors underpinning dementia risk. Dr David Llewellyn (third from right in orange trousers) works on lifestyle risk factors in dementia including the role of Vitamin D, and is also working on improving diagnostic methods. Prof Andy Randall (the old fellow next to Francesco) directs Exeter's Alzheimer's Society supported Doctoral training centre. This is currently supporting the PhD training of 8 young dementia researchers of the future, and all of our team are involved in supervising one or more of these students. You can read more about some of our dementia research here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/dementia/.
The funds raised will allow the Alzheimer's Society to continue supporting the best cutting-edge research into dementia around the UK; indeed if we write good enough grant bids we may even get some additional future support for our dementia research in Exeter!
We are fund raising as a team rather than individuals, so please support us. Any amount will be greatly appreciated and go towards understanding the causes and consequences of this devastating disease.