Scientist reveals dementia research to conference

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A SOUTH Yorkshire scientist is set to reveal how stem cells from patients can be used to study a rare form of dementia at an Alzheimer’s conference.

Dr Selina Wray, from Barnsley, will address leading dementia researchers from around the world at the conference in Birmingham next week.

Dr Wray works at University College London and her work is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK.

She will explain how she is using skin cells from patients who have an inherited form of the disease called frontotemporal dementia to learn more about the condition.

She has managed to turn the skin cells into stem cells and then turn those into nerve cells.

Researchers can then use the cells to investigate what goes wrong as the disease develops.

Dr Wray and her team hope to use their cells to get a detailed look at a protein called tau, which builds in the brain and becomes toxic during frontotemporal dementia.

She said treatments for dementia were urgently needed.

Dr Wray said: “I’m pleased to be sharing my research at this important conference, which is a great opportunity to bring together dementia scientists from a range of disciplines.

“We urgently need effective treatments for dementia, but that can only happen if we invest in research, and if researchers work together.”

About 820,000 people in the UK have Alzheimer’s disease, including 3,000 in Barnsley.