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Oxford scientist raises money for Alzheimer’s research

A research assistant from Oxford University’s Translational Neuroscience and Dementia Research Group will take place in a thirty-hour endurance event early next month to raise money for investigating potential cures for Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr Francesca Nicholls, 31, is currently involved in research which transforms the hair and skin cells of Alzheimer’s sufferers into nerve cells in order to test new treatments. The research is funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, a charity founded in 1992 by private benefactors concerned about the lack of treatment for the condition.

‘Race the Tide’ is organised by Alzheimer’s Research UK and will take place between 10th and 11th September. It is a trek along St Cuthebert’s Way, the medieval walkway running from Melrose, Scotland to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, which is only accessible during low tide. The course is over 100km long, made more difficult by the hilly terrain. With hundreds of participants, the event is expected to raise tens of thousands to fight the degenerative disease.

Dr Nicholls’ has begun training for the hike by walking through the Oxfordshire countryside, although admits that walking for over twenty-four hours may be something of a challenge. She is hoping to exceed her initial fundraising target of £800 as local media has raised the profile of her campaign.

More than 850,000 people in the UK suffer from dementia. Although the majority of them are over 65, roughly 40,000 people under that age are victims of early onset Alzheimer’s. There is currently no cure for the disease, but drugs delaying or reducing its symptoms are being developed in increasing numbers. A greater awareness of the disease has also led to better personal care and an increased focus on counselling for suffers and their families

To donate or find out more about Dr Nicholls’ fundraising campaign visit justgiving.com/fundraising/FrancescaJNicholls.

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