Pilgrim Beart on why he volunteered for dementia research

Pilgrim Beart says he got involved in a dementia study running at CPFT because his Dad had Parkinson's.

Pilgrim Beart on why he volunteered for dementia research
10 November 2017

Pilgrim Beart writes about why he volunteered for the PREVENT dementia study. The PREVENT study aims to identify biological markers of dementia and changes in risk factors in people many years before they would be expected to develop dementia symptoms.

“My father was diagnosed with Parkinson's in his late fifties and died after a fifteen year journey. Dad’s ‘dementia with Lewy bodies’ diagnosis put us all in trepidation of whether ‘he’ would disappear before our eyes. In the event he never lost the essence of his being, right to the end, maintaining the same strong interest in science, the same sense of humour and the same love - it just became harder to reach him as the physical and mental effects of Parkinson's took hold. He made the analogy of a spaceship getting further and further away - if you were patient you could still communicate. The burden of course fell on my mother.

“Parkinson’s is still treated using drugs discovered in the 1960s, which lose effectiveness over time. Now it seems researchers may be close to discovering how to prevent or reverse the death of the dopamine-making cells. Scientific progress is now so fast that people diagnosed with any slow, chronic illness have a real prospect of seeing a cure arrive in time - or at least a dramatic increase in life-expectancy or treatment. Real-world trials are the slow part.

Getting Involved with PREVENT

“I got involved in PREVENT through my wife who had volunteered for a different Dementia Research study. It’s only taken a couple of days of my life - which is nothing in the big scheme of things - and if that helps to hasten progress for millions of dementia sufferers then it’s a great deal. It feels good to pay back a little to society, it was a really interesting process to go through - and the study is in effect a free comprehensive medical check as a bonus.”

Find out more about the PREVENT study here

To get involved in dementia research click here



Contact details
For more information please contact:
Adrian Ient
Communications Manager
E adrian.ient@cpft.nhs.uk 
T 01223 219470

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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