Over £35,000 has been donated so far for the Bath-based registered charity The Research Institute for the Care of Older People in memory of the Sir Terry Pratchett, who died last week.
Terry Pratchett’s publicist, Lynsey Dalladay set up a JustGiving fundraising page, which opened shortly after the fantasy and SF author’s death was announced.
RICE receives less than 15% funding from the NHS and therefore need to seek income in other ways. They do this through fund-raising, both locally and nationally, and undertaking trials on behalf of pharmaceutical companies.
The original concept for RICE, came from Professor Allan Dixon, who was working with the geriatricians at St Martin’s hospital in Bath in the 1980s.
At the time, there had been problems with the drug Opren, which appeared to be especially dangerous for older patients even though it had passed the Clinical Trial process. This prompted the idea that an Institute should be formed to look into all aspects of ageing, including how drug treatments could be used more safely in older people.
The Research Institute for the Care of the Elderly came into being in 1985 and Professor Roy Jones was appointed as Director. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent opened the Institute in 1986 and in 1989 became its patron.
RICE opened one of the first Memory Clinics in the UK in 1987 – today there are over 100. The Institute has been involved with research into treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, most significantly the current treatments prescribed for the condition – donepezil (Aricept), rivastigmine (Exelon), gelantamine (Reminyl) and memantine (Ebixa).
In 2008, Terry Pratchett (who formerly worked for the Bath Chronicle in the city and was diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease at the end of 2007) opened the new RICE Centre in the grounds of the Royal United Hospital in Bath.
The new centre has the space to enable RICE to open up its research programme and to undertake further studies as well as improving support for people with dementia in the Bath area, and their families.
The research carried out at RICE covers a wide variety of areas and is intended to advance the knowledge and treatment of the more serious conditions affecting older people, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and to improve their quality of life.
• JustGiving Page: https://www.justgiving.com/Terry-Pratchett
• RICE: http://www.rice.org.uk
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