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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsHello my name is Nick Fox I direct the Dementia Research Centre at UCL's Institute of Neurology here at Queen Square in London. I'd like to talk to you about dementia. Dementia is the most pressing social and health problem of our time, has devastating consequences for the individual for their families and for society. Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of diseases that cause a progressive loss of thinking skills. Alzheimer's disease is by far the most common cause but there are many less well-known forms of dementia which affect thousands or millions of people but they're often under recognised.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds So how can we better understand dementia, how can we provide the support the care and the treatments that are desperately needed? On this four-week course you'll learn about dementia from a new perspective with world leading experts sharing their knowledge and importantly patients and carers sharing their candid personal accounts to demonstrate the symptoms and understand the challenges of living with these four less common forms of dementia. These are familial Alzheimer's disease behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and posterior cortical atrophy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds Research into these forms of dementia has the power to help those affected and their families and as we'll show it can also provide unique insights into dementia in general. For example we'll talk to professors Martin Rossor and John Hardy who carried out prize-winning work finding the very first gene that causes the rare familial form of Alzheimer's disease. We'll show how these insights from familial Alzheimer's disease led to the design of new treatments with huge potential currently being trialled at UCL.

Skip to 0 minutes and 33 seconds The course is designed to be suitable for anybody and we hope it will be particularly interesting for those who interact with people with dementia as part of their work and those whose families and friends are affected as well as students with an interest in dementia. By the time you've completed the course we hope you'll be able to apply your understanding of the different forms of dementia; symptoms, diagnosis, research and support to your personal and professional lives. So please sign up for this free 4 week course about dementia at UCL and learn from world leading experts, individuals, patients and their families and be part of the conversation about the challenge of our time, dementia.

About the course

Dementia is one of the foremost priorities in global health and is estimated to affect over 44 million people worldwide. This has a huge impact on individuals and on society, so improvements in understanding, care and treatments are desperately needed.

In this free online course you’ll discover some of the key issues in dementia care and research by exploring four less common forms of dementia through the eyes of people affected by the condition, and world-leading experts at UCL. We’ll show how research into the signs, stages, symptoms and causes of less common forms can bring us closer to the aim of defeating dementia.

“I work in a care home with people living with dementia. I will use what I have learned here every day to help me understand and appreciate my residents.” Aileen Callaghan, learner in March 2016

A unique insight

Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of diseases, all causing a progressive loss of our ability to think, feel and perceive by affecting how the brain functions. In the four weeks of this course we’ll investigate four forms of dementia that are important to understand better in their own right (they’re often not well recognised), but can also provide important insights that change how we think about dementia in general. We will also make the point that dementia affects younger people too.

Week 1 – What if dementia runs in the family?
Explore the challenges that face families - and ground-breaking research taking place - with people affected by familial Alzheimer’s disease, where the condition runs in the family and often starts at a young age.

Week 2 – What if dementia affects behaviour and personality?
Dementia is not just about memory loss – we investigate the particular challenges for diagnosis and care for people with behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia.

Week 3 – What if dementia makes you see things that aren’t there?
Some people with dementia experience hallucinations, and many describe fluctuations in their symptoms over time. These aspects are particularly clear in dementia with Lewy bodies, which you’ll learn about in Week 3.

Week 4 – What if dementia affects your vision, not your memory? People with posterior cortical atrophy experience changes in the way the brain processes visual information; we’ll explore this condition and the research taking place to help people live better with visual impairment related to dementia.

“The combination of personal stories paralleled by information given by expert clinicians and researchers was very engaging and, coupled with a multitude of interesting comments from course participants, provided a very well-rounded insight into the realities of dementia.” Anne Brink, learner in March 2016

Learn from dementia experts, experts by experience and each other

This course is presented by experts from the UCL Institute of Neurology and Division of Psychiatry who are highly regarded for their work as scientists and clinicians. Importantly, you’ll hear from people who have been diagnosed with dementia, and people who care for a family member with dementia to get a better understanding of the impact that a diagnosis of dementia brings.

You’ll be able to understand how dementia affects people by watching video interviews, look deeper into the topics by reading articles, interact through activities and questions, and also learn from others on the course by taking part in the discussions that accompany each step. You can join the conversation now by signing up and visiting the welcome page.

“I am so glad to have signed up to take part in this course. It has been immensely interesting and helpful, and more than anything else, extremely informative.” Laura Ward, learner in March 2016

This course was created by Dr Tim Shakespeare, Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellow at the Dementia Research Centre, UCL Institute of Neurology.

You can find out what Joy - a social worker and carer practitioner in the UK - thought of this course in her learner story.

In the trailer video, “PiB Pet Images AD” by Klunkwe is adapted & licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Requirements

The only requirement is an interest in dementia, its effects on people and the brain.
We hope that this course will be of particular interest to:

  • Anyone who works with people diagnosed with dementia
  • People who have a friend or family member who has dementia
  • People in the early stages of the disease
  • Students with an interest in learning more about dementia

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00