Bangor University research features on HORIZON

A research project running at Bangor University, with vital input from members of communities across north Wales, features in the next BBC 2 science documentary programme Horizon (11 May 2016 BBC 2 8.00).

BBC 2’s flagship science documentary, Horizon, investigates a new era of Alzheimer's research which is bringing hope to millions of those affected across the world. As well as looking at the medical developments in identifying and treating patients with dementia, the programme will also look at changes in lifestyle that can prevent the development of the disease.

The programme makers visited Bangor to film a case-study of a UK-wide trial which helps those in the early stages of dementia to develop strategies for managing everyday tasks, and in the process, which not only makes their lives easier, but helps to reactivate the planning and organisational parts of the brain.

While in north Wales, the programme makers filmed project therapist, Sue Evans, who is employed by Health & Care Research Wales to work in the NHS, working with one of the project participants on the goals he had set for himself.

The project, led by Prof Linda Clare (now at the University of Exeter, formerly at Bangor University’s School of Psychology), includes experts at Bangor University’s Dementia Services Development Centre and NWORTH Clinical Trials Unit, as well as  participating individuals with early-stage dementia from across the region.

Those taking part identified a wide range of goals to work on from using a mobile phone whilst out shopping to locating items around the house. In setting their personally meaningful goals, they had a range of motivations, including wanting to be more independent, stress reduction and reassuring others. The study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research, is still on-going, with results expected in a year’s time. A pilot study in north Wales funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, showed many people with early dementia were able to achieve their goals using this approach, which is known as ‘cognitive rehabilitation’.

The participating units are also contributors to the newly formed Bangor Institute for Health and Medical Research at the University’s College of Health & Behavioural Sciences.

Publication date: 5 May 2016