Gearing up to tackle dementia

A team of volunteers from The University of Nottingham are once again getting on their bikes to raise money for charity

This year, the Nottingham Life Cycle 5 challenge will be in support of dementia research, and a team of cyclists, led by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, will undertake a series of challenges, including two gruelling rides – coast to coast across England and through the lochs and glens of Scotland.

The team are aiming to raise £350,000 to help fund the University’s world-leading expertise in MRI scanning to study dementia and other degenerative conditions of the brain.

Nobel prize-winning research

MRI was developed at the University in the 1970s by Sir Peter Mansfield who was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work. Professor Peter Morris worked alongside Sir Peter and is now the Director of the Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Centre.

A major grant from the Medical Research Council will provide leading-edge MRI scanning systems which are thousands of times more sensitive than conventional scanning. Life Cycle 5 will enable Professor Morris’s team to be the first in the world to use this technology to understand the different ways in which dementia damages brain cells. This will pave the way for earlier diagnosis and the development of treatment tailored for individual patients.

Benjamin Beranek, 30, is a PhD student in Economics at the University and his mum Marcia has been diagnosed with dementia at the age of 62. He said: “The thing that makes me saddest is that one day when I have a child I will have to tell the story of who my mum was because her capabilities are no longer visible. I would be thrilled if people could support the Life Cycle 5 effort. There is no better University in the world to carry out this research.”

This is the fifth successive year that the team have taken on a cycling challenge, and the previous challenges have raised more than £1.5 million in total.

To find out more about this year’s Life Cycle challenge watch the launch video here.






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