Our Partners

Alzheimer’s Research UK

The Don Thoburn Memorial Scholarship was established by Richard and Maureen in memory of their dear friend and colleague Don, whose life was diminished by Alzheimer’s disease.

The scholarship, which supports talented dementia researchers in the early stages of their careers, was awarded to Dr Jonathan Blackman for his Clinical Research Training Fellowship at the University of Bristol.

The Don Thoburn Memorial Scholarship

The Scholarship is supporting Dr Blackman in his mission to unravel the mysteries of sleep and its impact on people living with mild cognitive impairment and early-stage Alzheimer’s. His Clinical Research Training Fellowship has the potential to revolutionise our understanding and treatment of this devastating disease.

We know that in the diseases that cause dementia, like Alzheimer’s, changes in the brain occur many years before symptoms begin. Research has suggested that some of these early changes can cause sleep disruption and that disrupted sleep may, in turn, worsen Alzheimer’s disease. Jonathan is investigating how the Parkinson’s drug, Levodopa, may improve sleep and memory in people with mild Alzheimer’s disease.

As part of his work, Jonathan is also assessing the feasibility, tolerability, and reliability of new technology, in the form of a headband, to measure sleep disturbances in a less intrusive way.

It has been a busy year academically with considerable progress made towards our main project goals and publication of allied work. After so much effort on this, it is a source of real excitement for the whole team to learn of its findings! It goes without saying that this work would simply not be possible without the of support of the Don Thoburn Memorial Scholarship.

Jonathan Blackman