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Dementia Patients and Carers to Benefit from New Research at University of Ulster

18 December 2013

Dementia patients around the world could benefit from new research being undertaken by the University of Ulster, in collaboration with University College London (UCL).

UCL has just secured over £3 million of funding for a project focusing on managing and treating the effects of agitation in dementia – one of the most distressing symptoms of the illness.

Ulster's Professor Gerard Leavey, Director of the Bamford Centre for Mental Health & Wellbeing at the University's Magee Campus, will lead on part of this research with UCL.

The funding announcement follows the recent commitment made by Prime Minister David Cameron at the G8 dementia summit to double levels of UK funding into dementia research.

Professor Leavey said: “Agitation occurs when a dementia sufferer loses the ability to communicate and becomes distressed because they cannot communicate basic needs such as hunger or pain.

“This is possibly one of the most demanding and distressing aspects of dementia, affecting around 50% of sufferers globally. The commitment by the UK Government to double funding is really encouraging and will hopefully bring us closer to finding a cure for this progressive and debilitating illness.

“Over the next 5 years, the research carried out by my team at Ulster will help to build knowledge on agitation and focus on how to enhance the quality of life for dementia patients and their carers."