PhD student using fruit flies in dementia research

PhD student using fruit flies in dementia research

Insects could hold the key to developing treatments for dementia, a charity-funded PhD student has told a national conference.

Addressing the Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART) conference in Bristol, Ceri Lyn-Adams, whose PhD at the University of Warwick is funded by the ART, said her study of proteins in fruit flies hoped to reveal how these chemicals caused dementia in humans.

"If we can study this protein and how it causes damage in these diseases, we can form a basis for developing new treatments," Ms Lyn-Adams said.

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the ART, said the charity was proud of the PhD students it sponsored and Ms Lyn-Adams' "fascinating" research would hopefully bring new understanding of the way dementia works.

A recent study published in Biological Psychiatry claimed that, contrary to existing beliefs, the damage done to brain cells is actually caused by soluble proteins in the brain, not the "clumps" of protein that form in the brains of people with dementia.

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