BRACE has funded dementia research since 1987. It has invested millions of pounds to support multidisciplinary research in all aspects of dementia. Some of the significant things BRACE has done are:
  • Funded early studies into dementia which provided key evidence for some of the main theoretical underpinnings used in drug development programmes today
  • Facilitated key clinical trials to get an Alzheimer’s disease drug (galantamine) clinically approved
  • Helped uncover a range of potential new risk genes and therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease prevention and treatment, two of which have gone on to high profile clinical and pre-clinical trials (real bench-to-bedside research)
  • Paid the lion’s share of the cost for the development of two capital projects: the BRACE Centre at the former Manor Park Hospital (in 1994) and the Bristol Brain Centre at Southmead Hospital (in 2015)
  • Aided the development of brand new molecular protocols to assess enzyme activity and cerebral blood flow in Alzheimer’s disease tissue
  • Provided funding to improve MRI and electrophysiological diagnostic equipment to detect Alzheimer’s disease earlier
  • Supported the South West Dementia Brain Bank, which provides tissue samples to researchers around the globe and has also developed international guidelines for cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and vascular cognitive impairment (VCI) diagnosis
  • Given a platform to over 30 PhD students, fostering a new generation of dementia researchers (with some even having gone on to obtain lectureships and professorships in prestigious institutions around the world)
  • Supported applications to additional charities that were based on BRACE-funded research
  • Developed an assessment tool, Bristol Activities of Daily Living Scale (BADLS) which is used worldwide to assist in the diagnosis of dementia
  • Financed research into aspects of dementia that are typically less well attended to, such as sufferer’ quality of life, emotional processing, visuospatial attention and movement