It was great to see about 220 people at our annual conference yesterday, held at the Future Inn in Bristol. This event is now a fixture in the BRACE calendar and is attracting an increasingly large audience.

The purpose of the event is to help create a wider and stronger network of people committed to tackling the problems of dementia. People ranging from scientists to solicitors and from campaigners to care home managers were present yesterday, and there was a real buzz in the room.

Expertly chaired by former ITN and BBC news presenter Sir Martyn Lewis, the conference included short talks on diagnosis, campaigning, treatments and brains for research. The afternoon started with an interview of a married couple living with the husband's diagnosis of dementia and concluded with a lively panel discussion.

We would like to thank Sir Martyn Lewis and all the speakers, panelists and exhibitors who helped make the day a success. A special mention is also due to the James Tudor Foundation, which supported the conference most generously.

BRACE Chief Executive Mark Poarch said afterwards, "It was brilliant to see so many talented and committed people together with a shared purpose. It was clear that everyone was very much engaged and we have received some very positive feedback". 

"We are trying to bring people together to see how different disciplines, different approaches to dementia, can help one another. With that in mind, it was fascinating to hear Professor Andrea Tales from Swansea University giving a talk about the design of public toilets. While this is very much a campaign issue, taken up by groups like the Dementia Action Alliances, Andrea's line of approach started from her BRACE-funded research into visual attention and the way the dementia brain copes with the information it receives. An unexpected side benefit of BRACE-funded research and a great illustration of why we need joined up thinking to defeat dementia."

Hear what Martyn Lewis said afterwards: