Charity funding awarded for innovative new dementia research

A PhD student at Swansea University’s College of Human and Health Sciences has been awarded funding by dementia research charity BRACE to pursue an innovative new study into vascular dementia.

Emma Richards

Emma Richards will carry out the study supervised by Professor Andrea Tales, which will continue her extensive work in dementia care and research.  She began work as an assistant physiotherapist at a specialist dementia care facility and focussed her undergraduate dissertation on psychological treatments and carer stress within Alzheimer’s disease. On completion of her degree, she went on to work in a number of research roles within the NHS and Social Services.

Emma also has personal experience of the impact of dementia.  She said: “When I was 16 years old I became a carer for my grandmother who had dementia. I was devastated at her diagnosis; however this gave me valuable insight, and first hand personal experience of the effects of this disease, and it was at this point in my life I decided that I was going to make a difference to the lives of the people with dementia and their carers.”

Professor Tales said: “Vascular disease is a major cause of cognitive impairment and dementia but is under-investigated and poorly characterised compared to Alzheimer’s disease.  We expect the outcome of this research study to increase our understanding of vascular-related mild cognitive impairment and vascular dementia and to have a direct, positive influence on the development of real-life and clinically-relevant tests of brain function, such as those used for early diagnosis and for guiding management.”

Mark Poarch, Chief Executive of BRACE, said: “I am sure that Emma’s study will be a vital element in the broader global fight against dementia. We wish her all the best with her research.”

More information about studying for a PhD/MPhil in Psychology at Swansea University about can be found here