Conor has given his support to a charity battling to get recognition for a debilitating ilness affecting over 100,000 people in Britain.
Conor is to become an Ambassador for the Lewy Body Society after meeting with the organisation’s Chief Executive, Jacqueline Cannon.
Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), also known as Lewy body disease, is the second most frequent cause of age-related neurodegenerative dementia. At least 5 percent of people aged 85 and older are thought to suffer from this little known but not uncommon and devastating disease. .
There are presently over 700,000 people with dementia in the UK and this number is projected to rise to 1,000,000 by 2021 unless cures are found. There are currently about five million people with dementia in the European Union. These figures represent only patients; caregivers double or treble the number of people whose lives are directly affected by dementia and relations and friends increase these numbers further.
DLB shares mental symptoms, such as confusion and loss of memory, with Alzheimer’s disease and motor symptoms, such as gait and slow movement, with Parkinson’s disease. For that reason it is often misdiagnosed. Accurate diagnosis is essential for successful treatment of the disease: people with DLB are characteristically highly sensitive to certain drugs which can worsen unpleasant symptoms or even be fatal.
The Lewy Body Society was set up in 2006 to support research into DLB, raise awareness and educate the public and those in the medical profession about all aspects of the disease. The charity will be celebrating its 10th anniversary on the inхЪJune this year.
Conor said:хЪ”I am delighted to have been asked to be an Ambassador for the Lewy Body Society and to help support the valuable work that it does. Jacqueline and the team have my full support in trying to raise awareness of this awful illness that affects so many people. I will be campaigning alongside them to get a commitment from the Department of Health to ensure that recognition for DLB is an integral part of strategies to tackle dementia.”
Jacqueline Cannon, Chief Executive of the Lewy Body Society, said: “The Lewy Body Society is delighted and honoured to appoint Conor McGinn MP as our Ambassador. With a background in public health and a commitment to health and older people’s issues, we think he will be a great asset to our campaign. I’d like to thank him for his support and encouragement.”
For more information visit www.lewybody.org