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Legal & General teams with Samuel L. Jackson and Alzheimer’s Research UK in powerful dementia campaign

Alzheimer’s Research UK has joined forces with Samuel L. Jackson to battle the serious misconception that dementia is an inevitability of old age.

16 Sep 2019

The ‘#ShareTheOrange’ campaign highlights that physical diseases cause dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s using an orange to symbolise the weight of matter lost in the brain as the condition develops.

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK’s #ShareTheOrange campaign uses an orange to highlight the physical impact on the brain during dementia, helping to address common misconception
  • Samuel L. Jackson shares family experience of dementia and calls on the public to support dementia research to slow and stop the condition
  • Public urged to watch and share short film, produced by Aardman Animations, to combat fatalism and increase support for life-changing research.

In the film, Samuel explains: “The damage to a brain with Alzheimer’s can leave it weighing 140g less than a healthy one. That’s about the weight of an orange…this shows us it is a physical disease…”

Samuel goes on to describe how: “dementia strikes at humanity’s most valuable resource, the cells of a human brain…it destroys these precious cells and the links between them.”

The #ShareTheOrange film ends with hope as Samuel L. Jackson states: “…with research we know diseases can be slowed, they can be stopped.” He calls on the public to share the film to “change the conversation and help Alzheimer’s Research UK make these breakthroughs possible for dementia”.

Samuel’s family has been impacted by Alzheimer’s more than most, having had six relatives diagnosed with the disease. He said: “I’ve been surrounded by Alzheimer’s most of my life. My grandfather was my best friend growing up, so it was heart breaking for me to see him not know who I was. The same happened with my mother soon after she was diagnosed. Her mother had it, her brother had it, her sister had it, and so did my aunty on my father’s side. It is so cruel having someone who has nurtured you and taken care of you reach a point where they can’t even recall your name."

Despite dementia now being the UK’s leading cause of death, a recent poll has shown that 22% still incorrectly believe that dementia is an inevitable part of old age1

The award-winning #ShareTheOrange campaign is in its third chapter for 2019; Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston supported the 2018 campaign, and the campaign debuted in 2016 with backing from former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston.

Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity and last year pledged to commit a landmark £250m of funding towards pioneering medical research into the condition by 2025.

Dementia is the world’s greatest medical challenge, not only for the individuals affected and their families, but for society as a whole. Over 850,000 people in the UK have dementia, and the condition has an economic impact in the UK of over £26bn a year – more than cancer and heart disease combined.

Watch the full video below

Phil Bayliss, CEO of Legal & General Later Living Dementia is one of greatest societal and medical challenges facing global health today. Despite affecting 850,000 UK residents, it is a condition which is often seen as taboo and which remains complicated by stigma and public misunderstanding. Legal & General is fundamentally committed to tackling all the issues facing those in later life. We are supporting dedicated academic and medical research, innovative campaigns which can change perceptions, and revolutionising the way we age through our unique retirement communities. This is why we are delighted to be sponsoring #ShareTheOrange for a second time.

1 Alzheimer’s Research UK Dementia Attitudes Monitor, 2018 - All interviews were carried out as part of Ipsos MORI’s regular face-to-face omnibus survey by Ipsos MORI interviewers in participants’ homes, using Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI). A total of 2,361 interviews were conducted with adults aged 15 and over in the UK between 15th June and 5th July 2018. The face-to-face omnibus uses a rigorous sampling method to ensure a good geographical spread, using quotas for gender, age, working status and tenure to ensure that the sample is nationally representative.