RESEARCHERS at the University of Bradford have been given a grant from the Alzheimer’s Research UK charity to fund more studies into the condition.

The money - £27,000 - will be used to buy a state-of-the-art imaging system to study nerve cells in real time. It will allow scientists across the region to study the behaviour of living nerve cells, with the aim of moving a step closer to tackling Alzheimer’s.

Professor Tim Palmer and teams at the university’s school of pharmacy are studying the biology of how nerve cells in the brain communicate.

He explained how the funding boost would benefit the research.

He said: “We’re very grateful for this funding boost, which will allow us to move forward with our current experiments but in much more detail than we’ve been able to previously.

“This imaging system will enable us to study the biology of the brain in minute detail and in real time in living nerve cells, so we can see what’s happening and what’s going wrong in front of our very eyes.

“Diseases like Alzheimer’s have a huge impact on people’s lives and we urgently need to develop new and effective ways to treat them.

“A crucial first step in developing any treatment is to understand the underlying biology of a disease, and then discover the most effective ways to intervene in the processes that are going wrong.

“This cutting-edge new equipment will not only benefit our research teams, but scientists across the region who are using research to understand the mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s.

“Our ultimate goal is to identify proteins involved in the breakdown of nerve cells that could become the focus of future efforts to develop new treatments for the disease.”

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia. Symptoms can include loss of memory, confusion, personality changes and difficulty with day-to-day tasks.

Dr Laura Phipps, of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said the funding could speed up research.

She said: “We’re pleased to be supporting researchers at the University of Bradford in their efforts to unpick the biology of Alzheimer’s, and provide the tools that will help them to progress faster.

“As a fundraising charity, we receive no government funding for our research and are grateful to many supporters for raising funds that have made this award possible. With half a million people in the UK living with Alzheimer’s, we must continue to do everything in our power to transform lives through research.”