PIONEERING researchers in Southampton will continue on their mission to find a cure for dementia thanks to a funding boost worth more than a half a million pounds.

To mark World Alzheimer’s Day dementia scientists at the University of Southampton have been awarded £650,000 to study the role of immune cells in Alzheimer’s, as well as understanding the risk factors of the disease.

This latest round of grants brings the current amount invested into dementia research by Alzheimer’s Research UK to more than £20m – making it a record-breaking year for the charity.

The charity has awarded five of the 52 new grants to Southampton, which are aimed at understanding the causes of dementia, improving diagnosis, and finding new treatments and preventions for the disease which affects 18,000 people living in Hampshire.

One of those benefitting from the grants is Dr Cheryl Hawkes, a researcher from the University, who has been awarded a Senior Research Fellowship worth £264,590.

Dr Hawkes said: “This three-year fellowship will allow me to investigate why some people are more at risk of Alzheimer’s than others. With so many families affected by the disease, it is important to understand how we can prevent or treat it.”

Catherine Moden, from Eastleigh , knows only too well the huge impact that Alzheimer’s can have on families.

Her mum Pam was diagnosed with the disease over ten years ago and now lives in a care home.

She said: “This cruel disease has robbed my family of a beloved mum and grandma.

“We desperately need new treatments to allow people to have longer with their loved ones. It is great to see new money being invested in research, as it’s the only solution to this heartbreaking disease.”