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10th September 2002: "Unravelling Minds: the mysteries of Alzheimer's Disease"

Martin Westwell is the usual host of the Oxford Cafe Scientifique, but his day job is Research Manager at Synaptica, a local biotechnology company working towards treatments for neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease. Martin came to Lincoln College, Oxford in 1999 as a research fellow in Medicinal Sciences where he met the founders of Synaptica and became involved in the company. He resigned his position at Lincoln College in 2001 to take a full-time position at Synaptica. Martin has won a number of awards for his public understanding of science speaking including being named The Times/Novartis "Scientist of the New Century" in 1999.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the fourth most common cause of death in the Western world and there are c. 13 million sufferers worldwide, yet the causes and basic nature of the disease are poorly understood. There have been some scientific breakthroughs and various symptoms of the disease can be treated with drugs, but the promised cure or vaccine remains elusive. Martin will outline what we do know about Alzheimer’s Disease and describe some of the latest research which is tackling this devastating condition.

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