Manchester Science Festival: the art and science of dementia

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Experts gather to discuss how both art and science can help people living with dementia

Scientists, artists and medical experts will come together in Manchester next week at an event exploring how both art and science can help improve the lives of those living with dementia.

The Art and Science of Dementia is part of Manchester Science Festival and takes place at Citylabs 1.0, Nelson Street on Wednesday 26 October 2016 (6.00pm - 7.30pm). The panel event will explore both medical and social models of dementia, discussing how everything from scientific advances to singing can help those living with the disease.

Speakers will include Dr Chris Pickford, from the Institute for Dementia at the University of Salford; Dr Ashley Burgoyne, the founder of #HookedOnMusic game which helps dementia patients use music to help their memory; Sally Ferris, the founder of Together Dementia Support, a social enterprise for people living with dementia and Louise Coulthard, writer of sell-out play Cockamamy, based on her experiences of dementia. The conversation will be facilitated by Dr Marieke Navin, project lead for #HookedOnMusic.

Dementia is an increasingly prevalent condition in the UK. According to charity the Alzheimer’s Society, there are around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with this number set to rise to one million by 2025 and to two million by 2051. It is also estimated that there are around 30,000 people living with Alzheimer’s in Greater Manchester alone.

Rowena Burns, chief executive at Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) commented: “The symptoms associated with dementia include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. It’s a life changing condition and it’s going to affect more lives as our population grows.

“It is increasingly being recognised that managing the issue of dementia within our communities will require a multi-disciplinary approach. It’s not just a medical issue, but a social issue too and with the right tools and knowledge we all can play a part in helping those living with the disease lead full, enjoyable lives for as long as possible.

“MSP is very pleased to support this event which brings together speakers with different insights to impart and creativity to share.  We are backing the event as part of our commitment to Manchester Science Festival and the well-being of people in Greater Manchester living with this condition. The panel will bring useful insights into the issue of dementia from the perspectives of both science and the arts and we’re very much looking forward to learning more.”

Manchester Science Festival is produced by the Museum of Science and Industry and is now in its 10th year. It’s also a key element of Manchester’s position as European City of Science 2016.

For further information on The Art and Science of Dementia please read here.