ALZHEIMER’S Research UK has relaunched a bold campaign that challenges one of the most common misconceptions about dementia. This World Alzheimer’s Month, the charity’s #ShareTheOrange campaign is highlighting that dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing, to help counter fatalism about the condition and show that hope lies in research. Through a series of award-winning films featuring Samuel L. Jackson, Bryan Cranston and Christopher Eccleston, the campaign uses an orange to demonstrate the physical impact that diseases like Alzheimer’s have on the brain.
The UK’s leading dementia research charity launched the campaign’s first instalment in 2015, with the second and third chapters of the campaign following in 2018 and 2019. Each film features an orange gradually stripped away to demonstrate how the diseases that cause dementia physically attack the brain. The brain of a person with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, weighs around 140g less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange.
One in five people still incorrectly believe that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing. Together the films help to counter this belief and show that dementia is caused by physical diseases that could be slowed, and ultimately stopped, through research.
People with dementia have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, with figures suggesting a quarter of those dying from COVID-19 have also had dementia. The pandemic has also had a devastating impact on dementia research, with many projects and trials delayed or cancelled, and less funding available for new studies. These shocking figures give the #ShareTheOrange campaign new meaning, as it seeks to build public understanding and support for dementia research at a time when it has never been more needed.
Tim Parry, Director of Communications at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“As our greatest long-term medical challenge, dementia causes untold heartache to families across the globe – but our #ShareTheOrange campaign shows that through research we can change this picture. That message has never been so important, as people with dementia are bearing the brunt of COVID-19 and the future of dementia research is under threat from the pandemic. Now more than ever, dementia research needs our backing.”
To view the films visit alzheimersresearch.uk/orange