Professor Clive Ballard joined the University of Exeter Medical School as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean in October.

Global dementia expert gives first lecture as head of Exeter Medical School

World-leading dementia expert Professor Clive Ballard will deliver his first lecture since joining the University of Exeter.

Clive, a global authority in age-related disease, joined the University of Exeter Medical School as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean in October. He will deliver a talk entitled 'Dementia: Prevention, Treatment and Care' on 26 April.

Professor Ballard said: “As we all live longer, it’s important that we all take measures to protect our own health, including our brain health. We can all take action on this, and it has to start in our 50s, while we can still influence our health in older age and increase our chances of living a healthier, happy life.

“The number of older people worldwide is soaring exponentially. Today 46 million people live with dementia globally - a number expected to almost triple by 2050. We must find ways of supporting people to live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives.

“Exeter already produces excellent research in dementia and it’s a real area of focus for the University. It’s an exciting place to be, and I’m looking forward to sharing my research.”

The presentation will review the up-to-date evidence from clinical trials focussing on prevention, symptomatic treatment and disease modification of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Clive will present emerging findings from his research group, including studies examining how brain function can be maintained into later life. The research is linked to the successful PROTECT (Platform for Research Online to investigate Genetics and Cognition in Ageing) study, which has 20,000 people over the age of 50 signed up to establish what lifestyle changes can make a meaningful difference in staying physically and mentally healthy in older age.

Other studies include work on the treatment of agitation, psychosis and pain in people with dementia and new work examining human grade stem cell therapies.

Clive joined Exeter from King’s College London, where he was Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Unit for Dementia at the Institute of Psychiatry Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and Co-Director of the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases at IoPPN.

Clive has previously served as Director of Research for the Alzheimer’s Society between 2003 and 2013 and has been actively involved in the development of policy and research on dementia in the UK as part of the advisory group for the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia and the previous Ministerial Advisory group on dementia.

Clive’s appointment complements a strong and growing number of world-leading dementia researchers at Exeter. They include Professor Jon Mill and Dr Katie Lunnon, whose research provides new and cutting-edge approaches to understanding the genetics and mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease. In neuroscience, Professor Andy Randall and Dr Jonathan Brown are part of a group progressing understanding of brain mechanisms in dementia. And in Psychology, Professor Linda Clare is driving forward our understanding of dementia care and how to enable people to live and function as well as possible with dementia.

To register for the lecture, visit the Medical School’s events page.

Date: 12 April 2017

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