Pratchett supports Alzheimer's Society in run up to DM campaign

LONDON - Terry Pratchett OBE, the best-selling author, is launching an awareness campaign with the Alzheimer's Society in the run up to its Christmas direct marketing campaign.

Pratchett will launch a report into dementia after he was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease last December. It aims to raise awareness of the condition in the run up to the charities up-coming direct campaign.

Direct agency Catalyst is behind the Christmas mail pack. It will be backed by news reader Angela Rippon and she will talk about her personal experiences dealing with her mother as she battled with the disease.  The direct mail campaign will run in December and go to existing supporters.

Comedian Jo Brand is also supporting the Christmas campaign. She will refer to her experiences as a psychiatric nurse before she embarked on her successful career as a comedian. This will support the mail pack as a press insert, radio and online campaign.

A spokesperson for the charity said: "This will be our largest Christmas appeal to date. As a charity we rely on the appeal to provide services to thousands of people every day. It funds our research programme and helps lead the political fight to improve care and support for people with dementia. We are hoping to raise a minimum of £83,000"

Pratchett has said of his diagnosis: "It's a strange life when you 'come out'. People get embarrassed, lower their voices and get lost for words. Seven hundred thousand people who have dementia in this country are not heard. I'm fortunate; I can be heard. This report allows others to bring dementia out of the shadows."

There has recently been huge progress in the treatment of Alzheimer's. It was reported in the US that blood pressure drugs can dramatically cut the risk of the disease. Last month it was also reported that a new drug is being developed that can halt the progress of the disease and is twice as effective as current treatments.

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