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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Donation boosts laboratory research into Alzheimer’s disease

Published: 22 February 2016
Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola
Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola

Biological scientists at the University of Southampton will benefit from new laboratory equipment funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK, thanks to a £39,000 donation from Simplyhealth.

The new flow cytometer will help researchers explore a new discovery linking the immune system and dementia. It is a piece of equipment which can pinpoint key features from many different cells, helping researchers identify which cells they need to work on.

Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola will use the equipment to investigate the role of our immune system in Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier this year, his team showed that a compound which blocks brain inflammation may protect against memory problems in mice with features of Alzheimer’s.

He says: “The findings from our recent study into inflammation were exciting. This was as close to evidence as we could get to show that targeting inflammation in the brain, caused by a build-up of immune cells called microglia, could halt progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

“There has been a lot of promising research into dementia at the University of Southampton and this flow cytometer will help us to continue our work.”

Steve Frost, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Alzheimer’s Research UK, adds: “Alzheimer’s Research UK is delighted Simplyhealth has funded a flow cytometer at the University of Southampton. This is an essential piece of equipment which will allow our researchers to further explore a recent breakthrough in their efforts to develop treatments for Alzheimer’s, as well as many other studies into dementia.”

Dementia is a condition caused by brain diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, and currently affects 850,000 people in the UK with almost 20,000 of them living in Hampshire alone. With funding from Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, scientists in Southampton are working to understand the causes of different forms of dementia and how to treat the condition.



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