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US grant exclusive for UK dementia researcher
Date:11/9/2011

The US-based Alzheimer's Association has awarded Dr. David Llewellyn of Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry (PCMD), University of Exeter, a prestigious two-year $100,000 New Investigator Research Grant to further his dementia research. New Investigator awards are made following international peer review among applicants who are the most promising researchers who have earned their doctoral degrees within the last 10 years.

Dr. Llewellyn is the only researcher in the UK to receive an award from the Alzheimer's Association in 2011.

Dr. Llewellyn's goal is to investigate how low vitamin D levels may increase the risk of dementia and neuroimaging abnormalities, such as brain shrinkage in the US Cardiovascular Health Study. Named collaborators on this international project are Professor David Melzer (PCMD), Professor Kenneth Langa (University of Michigan), Dr Paulo Chaves (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr Bryan Kestenbaum (University of Washington). Support from the Alzheimer's Association will provide funding for a post-doctoral researcher to join Dr. Llewellyn to investigate vitamin D's potential as a biomarker and therapeutic target.

"It is an honour to receive this Alzheimer's Association award not only for myself but also for the wider Epidemiology and Public Health group at PCMD and our transatlantic collaborators," Dr. Llewellyn said. "Support from the Alzheimer's Association and other funders is vital to accelerate the pace of discovery that we are able to achieve and lay the foundations for our future research programme."

He added: "Unfortunately, the underlying causes of dementia are still largely unknown and current options for prevention and treatment are limited. However, the high proportion of vitamin D deficiency seen in people with cognitive impairment and dementia may provide us with an important clue. Few foods contain vitamin D, synthesis from sunlight is not possible for much of the year at northern l
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Contact: Andrew Gould
andrew.gould@pcmd.ac.uk
44-139-268-6107
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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