Page last updated at 07:26 GMT, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 08:26 UK

Sir Cliff raises research funds

Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff hopes to find ways to treat, prevent or cure dementia

Sir Cliff Richard is to help raise funds for ground-breaking new research into Alzheimer's disease by doctors at Newcastle University.

Dr Kim Krishnan is looking at whether problems with the brain's "batteries", called mitochondria, cause the loss of power to brain cells seen in patients.

The singer, who lost his mother to the disease, is a patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust charity.

He will front a television appeal broadcast on BBC1 on 19 October.

Dr Kim Krishnan said: "My research will give us a better understanding of Alzheimer's.

"It could lead to new treatments that keep the power flowing to brain cells and hopefully paint a better future for people with the disease."

Personal appeal

It is estimated that 3,000 people in Newcastle are living with dementia.

Sir Cliff Richard said: "My mum suffered with dementia for nine years before she passed away.

"My sisters and I were slowly robbed of the vibrant woman we once knew - and the fact that nothing could be done to stop it was almost unbearable.

"That's why I'm appealing on behalf of the Alzheimer's Research Trust. Because we must find ways to treat, prevent or cure dementia - and fast."

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