A SCOTTISH university welcomed world-leading researchers to a "watershed" dementia summit.

The University of St Andrews hosted an international summit bringing together top brain and health researchers from around the world to form a partnership that could see Scotland leading the world in finding a cure for neurodegenerative diseases.

It has been described as a "watershed" in terms of creating important partnerships between scientists and sponsors in one of medicine’s most complex areas.

The 2022 Brain Health and Dementia Life Sciences Summit acted as a space to discuss the overcoming of barriers that currently exist and how they can be placed for the benefit of the public, the economy and society.

The two-day conference was led by the head of the university’s school of biology, Professor Frank Gunn-Moore, chair of the Psychiatry of Ageing and director of the Centre for Dementia Prevention, Professor Craig Ritchie and former first minister Henry McLeish.

Professor Gunn-Moore said: “Scotland is benefitting from a growing reputation in neuroscience, specifically in brain health and dementia research. Recently the Scottish Government made a commitment to the people of Scotland that everyone would have access to a Brain Health Clinic by 2025 with the explicit aim of dramatically reducing the incidence of dementia in our country.

“This commitment is far ahead of any commitments or actions taken at a national level by any other country or government in the world. This was to be achieved through the creation of Brain Health Scotland – hosted by Alzheimer Scotland.”

Gunn-Moore added: “The summit had the singular objective of forming a partnership between the various stakeholders invested in curing Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. We believe that Scotland can and should lead the world in this endeavour. Finding cures must be supported by optimal clinical trial delivery as well as clinical practice that can accommodate new tests and treatments rapidly and safely.”

Delegates also heard from several well-known experts, including Professor David Crossman, Dean of the University of St Andrews School of Medicine and former chief scientist for Scotland; Professor Sir Mike Ferguson from the Scottish Drug Discovery Unit based at the University of Dundee; and John Dwyer and George Vradenburg, both of the Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative.