This week on The Conversation Weekly podcast we’re running a three-part series called Uncharted Brain: Decoding Dementia, which delves into new research searching for answers to how dementia works in the brain and the damage it leaves behind. Hosted by Paul Keaveny and Gemma Ware, it was initially published via The Anthill podcast from the team at The Conversation in the UK.
In the first episode, we explore how a study which began just after the end of the second world war is discovering clues to Alzheimer’s.
Based on a representative sample of 5,362 babies all born in the same week in the UK in 1946, the National Survey of Health and Development began as a one-off investigation of the cost of childbirth and the quality and efficiency of obstetric services. From there it became the longest continuously running study of health over the human life course in the world – also known as the British 1946 birth cohort.
Since 2016, the brains of some of its participants are revealing new insights into the risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. We find out more from Marcus Richards and Jon Schott, two of the researchers from UCL in the UK behind the study, and David Ward, one of the study participants whose brain is being studied as part of the dementia research.
Parts two and three of the series will follow in The Conversation Weekly later this week.
Uncharted Brain: Decoding Dementia is reported by Paul Keaveny, investigations editor at The Conversation in the UK for the Insights team, which published articles linked to each of the episodes in this podcast series. The series is produced and written by Tiffany Cassidy with sound design by Eloise Stevens. The executive producer and co-host is Gemma Ware. The Conversation Weekly theme music is by Neeta Sarl.
Marcus Richards receives funding from the UK Medical Research Council.
Jonathan M Schott receives funding from Alzheimer’s Research UK, Medical Research Council, Alzheimer’s Association, Selfridge’s Group Foundation, Brain Research UK, the Wolfson Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre. He is Chief Medical Office for Alzheimer’s Research UK and Clinical Advisor to UK Dementia Research Institute.