Press Office


Dementia Friends campaign launch

Newcastle University's Institute for Ageing has today welcomed the launch of Public Health England and the Alzheimer's Society's new dementia funds campaign, and its efforts to bring about a greater understanding of dementia to a wider audience.

Newcastle University is a leading authority on research into dementia and adapting to an ageing society, and is currently involved in a number of important initiatives completed and underway.

Professor Louise Robinson, Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA), commented: "This is a fantastic campaign, which builds on the work Newcastle has done in this important area. Ageing has been a key societal research theme at Newcastle University for some years now, as we strive to ensure that we all enjoy a rise in our healthy life expectancy – in other words, that we live better for longer. It was here at Newcastle where we calculated that for every day which passes, on average we add an extra five hours to our lives.

“Newcastle University has long been a centre of research excellence in dementia, establishing itself as a world leader in exploring both the cause of the illness but also looking for a possible cure. For example, we currently host a NIHR Biomedical Research Unit in Lewy Body Dementia. However, researchers here are also looking into how to improve care for people living with dementia and - more importantly - new ways of ensuring families with dementia are kept informed and are supported at every step, from the point of diagnosis onwards. 

“We are also involved in some important work with the Alzheimer’s Society, which taps in to the aims of their new campaign. Between us we have a Knowledge Transfer Partnership to help understand how we can develop interventions to manage factors which lead to cardiovascular problems, through things like exercise, a better diet and cutting out smoking, to prevent some forms of dementia.

“Furthermore, Newcastle University is proud to host the North East Dementia Alliance – a partnership of major stakeholders including the Alzheimer’s Society and Public Health England, local authorities and NHS providers, alongside people with dementia and their families. The aim of the alliance is to develop a shared and co-ordinated approach in the North East of England to help people with dementia live well.”

Linked to the North East Dementia Alliance, Newcastle University was recently awarded a quarter of a million pounds to develop the North East Dementia Innovation Hub, a Knowledge Transfer Project to improve information transfer between professionals and between professionals and patients. This will build upon and extend a national project, led by the Department of Health and the Royal College of General Practitioners, to develop a GP Dementia Roadmap.
Other Newcastle projects to further understanding of the ageing process and improve the lives of those living with or affected by Dementia include:

• The Newcastle NIHR Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing & Chronic Disease, a partnership with Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to better understand the ageing process  across three key areas: the ageing brain, the ageing body and ageing limbs

• Newcastle is also a partner in the National Institute for Health Research’s SEED (Supporting Excellence in End of life care in Dementia) programme, a new research project research to support providers and commissioners to identify and deliver good quality, community-based end of life care in dementia.

• Professor Louise Robinson has been awarded a National Institute for Health Research Translational Professorship in dementia care


published on: 7 May 2014