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26 April 2018

Breaking Bad star promotes compelling video that tackles dementia myths

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston’s latest starring role is in a short film addressing people’s misconceptions about dementia. The film uses an orange to symbolise how the brain of a person with the disease can be affected, and Cranston calls for viewers to #ShareTheOrange on behalf of Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The two-minute film was created by Bristol’s Aardman Animations, the makers of Wallace and Gromit, and uses stop-motion and CGI animation to show the orange being stripped away, representing a sufferer’s memories disappearing and how that impacts on their relationships and loved ones.

The brain of an Alzheimer’s sufferer can weigh around 140 grams less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange. Cranston, whose mother died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2004, said he was “honoured” to join forces with the charity.

The Emmy Award-winning actor said: “Alzheimer’s took my mother’s life, but our loved ones hopefully could be saved from the same fate. With advanced scientific research, hard work and generous support, Alzheimer’s Research UK, one day, could make finding a cure a reality.”

The #ShareTheOrange campaign, which debuted in 2016 with backing from Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston, aims to get people thinking differently about dementia, challenging widespread beliefs that it is a natural part of ageing. In a recent YouGov survey commissioned by Alzheimer’s Research UK, it was revealed that 23% of British adults specifically mentioned brain disease or degeneration while speaking about dementia.

In the video, Cranston says: “It all starts with the brain. Everything we are, everything we were, everything we ever will be is held inside these precious cells. Your childhood, your friendships, your first love, your truest love, your most special day, your family, your hopes and dreams for them. That means if the brain is at risk, everything we are is at risk.”

Jamie Smith, Projects & Development Manager at Coate Water Care says: “By coming together to support the #ShareTheOrange campaign, Bryan Cranston and Aardman will help bring global attention to an important truth – that dementia is not an inevitability of age, but is caused by diseases that we can fight.”

“Dementia has always been surrounded by misconceptions, and it’s now time to turn our fatalism into hope. Research has made major breakthroughs in other disease areas in the past generation, and people with dementia must now benefit from the kind of investment that leads to similar breakthroughs.”

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