Hundreds of dementia researchers from around the country are making their way to Aberdeen next week for the Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2023. 

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity, funding research into the causes of dementia, diagnosis, preventions and treatments. Alzheimer’s Research UK has funded over £9 million of dementia research at universities across Scotland including nearly £2million for pioneering science in Aberdeen. 

The annual conference – which will take place at the new P&J Live events venue – is hosted by a different city each year and is the UK’s largest meeting of scientists working towards new ways to tackle dementia. 

There will be dedicated day for early career researchers on Monday 13 March, with the main conference taking place on Tuesday 14 March and Wednesday 15 March. 

The event has been organised by the Alzheimer’s Research UK Scotland Network Centre, a community of dementia researchers from universities across Scotland.

Alzheimer’s Research UK supporter Olive Munro, who was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2017, will be giving a talk to open the conference on Tuesday. 

Olive, who lives in Ardtalnaig by Loch Tay in Perthshire, said:
“When I was diagnosed with dementia it was very upsetting, but I am determined to do what I can while I am still able to raise awareness of the condition and support research.

“I was delighted to be invited by Alzheimer’s Research UK to speak at the conference. The work these scientists are doing to find a cure for dementia is so important and I hope they are inspired by my story.

“I know that developments in dementia research are likely to come too late for me, but I have six grandchildren and I hope that in their lifetimes dementia will become something that people no longer need to worry about.”

For members of the public who want to hear more from the conference, Alzheimer’s Research UK will also be streaming exclusive content, interviews and chats on Twitch, an interactive livestreaming video platform, from the P&J Arena to fundraise for vital dementia research. 

With the support of incredible streamers, the charity is aiming to raise £5,000 during the conference.  Watch the behind the scenes on Twitch on Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:30am: www.twitch.tv/alzheimersresearchuk

Before the academic conference gets underway, Alzheimer’s Research UK is inviting the people of Aberdeen to attend ‘Science in the Shops’, a free drop-in event at Union Square, Aberdeen from Friday 10 March – Sunday 12 March. The family-friendly event features hands-on activities, crafts, and interactive technology, to shine a light on the workings of the brain and showcase the pioneering dementia research underway in Aberdeen and across Scotland. 

Visitors will learn how artificial intelligence is improving the lives of people with Alzheimer’s disease and use virtual reality to put themselves in the shoes of someone living with dementia. Local researchers and scientists will join charity staff to share the ground-breaking research taking place in across Scotland. All activities are completely free, and open to everyone. 

Prof Gernot Riedel, a researcher at the University of Aberdeen and co-ordinator of the Scotland Research Network Centre, helped to organise the event.

Prof Reidel said:
“It’s fantastic to see so many top scientists coming to Aberdeen for this major conference. It’s an important opportunity for dementia researchers from across the UK and beyond to share new findings, forge collaborations, and accelerate progress towards improving the lives of millions of people living with this heartbreaking condition.

“Dementia is the greatest medical challenge of our time, and I hope people will join us at Union Square to find out more about this important topic. All of the researchers are keen to share their insights into dementia causes, risk factors, diagnosis and treatments, so please come along and ask any questions you have.”

Josie Waters, Public Engagement Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK said:
“We are excited to be hosting Science in the Shops ahead of next week’s research conference. We have a packed line-up of activities look forward to welcoming people to Union Square on 10,11 and 12 March. The Alzheimer’s Research UK Conference 2023 is the largest dementia research conference in the UK and it is fantastic to be able to take this opportunity to engage the people of Aberdeen with the work of the charity.”

The free event is being held on Friday 10 March, Saturday 11 March and Sunday 12 March at Union Square, Guild Square, Aberdeen AB11 5RG. Activities will run during the shopping centre opening hours. Booking is not required but to find out more about the event visit www.alzres.uk/research-events