Brits have suffered from plagues and been in the vanguard in fighting them. Writing today in the Telegraph, Professors Mary and Christopher Dobson of Cambridge University have practical hope that the plague of dementia can be eradicated .
At Cambridge University, for example, in conjunction with our international collaborators, we are in the process of beginning to devise rational diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for protein-misfolding diseases including Alzheimer’s disease – the leading form of adult dementia. Indeed, there are signs of progress emerging already. Perhaps the most exciting, and even surprising, facet of our findings is the realisation that there is a common or “generic” molecular mechanism that underlies disorders as seemingly diverse as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, cystic fibrosis and Parkinson’s disease. With our determination to tackle these 21st century plagues we are optimistic that we will come up with significant breakthroughs, just as the pioneers of earlier times found ways to confront the plagues of the past.