Freemasons donate £99,000 for dementia research

The William Harvey Research Foundation has received £99,000 from the Freemasons to fund research at the William Harvey Research Institute of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), which will reveal how natural chemicals in our diet can address the urgent need for new dementia treatments.

The Freemasons’ health and care charity, the Masonic Samaritan Fund, made the £99,000 donation after a vote among thousands of Freemasons, who nominated the William Harvey Research Foundation for the award.

Rates of dementia have never been higher and are inexorably still rising. One million people will be living with dementia by 2025.

Vascular ageing has been identified as a key trigger for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. As we age, damaging changes occur to the small blood vessels of the brain which are composed of only a single layer of cells called the endothelium.

The research, led by Professor Roger Corder seeks to understand the age-related changes in endothelium function, and explore how natural chemicals in red wine and dark chocolate (dietary polyphenols) can counteract these changes. This project will exploit insights from Professor Corder’s research over the past 15 years revealing how dietary polyphenols prevent heart disease.

Dr John Gordon, Chairman of the William Harvey Research Foundation, said “We are immensely grateful to the Freemasons for their generous donation, which will help this groundbreaking dementia research to move forward.”

Prof. Corder, from QMUL’s William Harvey Research Institute, said, “The research will reveal how dietary polyphenols alter brain endothelial function, identify new ways to prevent vascular ageing, and accelerate the development of new medicines for treating dementia. This research, supported by the Freemasons, will take us a significant step in the right direction.”

The £99,000 donation was presented to Prof. Corder at William Harvey Research Institute by the Masonic Samaritan Fund’s Chief Executive Richard Douglas and Trustee Ian Sabin.

Richard Douglas said: “We are very proud to show our support for Professor Corder’s research by awarding the charity a Masonic Samaritan Fund grant. Hundreds of Freemasons from around Greater London have chosen to support his dementia study which will help bring the latest knowledge and expertise to the patients of today.”

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