Lancaster variety hall show to help pay for pioneering dementia research

Star performer: Holly Johnstone from TV show Tumble
Star performer: Holly Johnstone from TV show Tumble
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Theatre-goers are being urged to rally round to help raise funds for vital medical research.

Researchers from Lancaster University are working on a pioneering project to try to develop a drug to stop Alzheimer’s disease in its tracks.

Scientists have successfully created a new drug which can reduce the number of senile plaques (which are found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease) by a third but need to raise more money to develop it further and start clinical trials.

Professor Allsop, who led the research and was the first scientist to isolate senile plaques from human brain, is hoping that clinical trials on humans could start soon.

The drug has already been endorsed by Alistair Burns, the government’s dementia tsar, and is set to become the first university in the UK to try to raise money through crowd funding specifically for medical research.

To kickstart it, the researchers have organised a charity variety show, ‘A Grand Night Out for Alzheimer’s Research’, at Lancaster Grand Theatre on January 31.

Penelope Foulds, aresearcher and coordinator of the concert, has managed to get the entertainers to donate their time and has secured free use of the theatre.

The show will include comedienne Pam Ford, Steven Hall from Britain’s Got Talent, singer songwriter Amy-Jo Clough, magician Kevin Cunliffe, musician Pete Lashley, Ludus Dance, Aurora band, Holly Johnstone from BBC One’s Tumble and a host of others.

Penelope said: “We need to get as many people as we can into the theatre to make it a success; not just for the money it will raise but for the ambience.”

Every penny raised will go into the research, into a disease which affects almost every family.

Prof Allsop said:“Many people who are mildly forgetful may go on to develop the disease because it may be years before any symptoms manifest themselves. The ultimate aim is to give the drug at that stage to stop any more damage to the brain, before it’s too late.”