Spurred on by his business partner’s Parkinson’s disease, Michel set up Dementech – bringing together world-leading expertise in biomedical, care, public health and translational Parkinson’s and dementia research.
Dementech Neurosciences is a state of the art clinical academic centre, dedicated to providing cutting edge medical technology and services to help improve the lives of patients with Neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Founded by Michel Rabhi, he set up the clinic after his business partner, Mike was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Mike had the disease for nine years, in the first three to four years his symptoms were manageable but gradually he got worse, until his independence disappeared and menial tasks like dressing himself became impossible.
Upset and frustrated by the rapid decline of his business partner’s mental health and the lack of treatments available, Michel took matters into his own hands and contacted leading experts and academics in dementia research. His journey led him to a professor who was conducting a ground-breaking research programme using biomarkers.
Michel stumbled across the biomarker through Professor Marios Politis, Consultant Neurologist and Director of the Neurodegeneration Imaging Group at King’s College London. Professor Politis and his team were using the new technology as a novel way of understanding and detecting dementia, giving an estimation of where someone is in their disease, meaning it is also possible to provide more specialised treatment and care.
The ground-breaking biomarker research that Professor Politis was carrying out identifies biological signatures of the disease and is meant to help clinicians provide a more accurate diagnosis and prognosis. The Technology uses brain imaging, blood samples and clinical observation, which may help to provide the patients with more targeted treatment, prevention measures and personalised medicine once the solutions become available.
However, Michel and Professor Politis realised that such promising research takes a decade if not more to enter clinical practice, and they wanted to provide a solution in order to help patients, like Mike much quicker. Coming from an entrepreneurial background, Michel came up with the idea of a joint venture with Professor Politis: “We wanted to create somewhere we could offer the technology combined with the very best specialists across all disciplines.”
They created Dementech, a one-stop clinic offering the best neurologists, psychotherapists, nutritionists and movement disorder specialists in London. “No one else is offering anything else like this, the technology which is backed up by leading institutions really does mean that our clinic can make a difference.”
Already, the help that Professor Politis and the Dementech team have provided for Mike has significantly improved his life: “He has gone back to having so much more dependency: he is able to go to the loo by himself, dress himself, he has less tremors, and he is able to focus for longer. I have seen the real Mike come back again, it’s been very emotional,” says Michel.
The clinic also offers support to family and friends. Aftercare services from counselling and tailored programmes to help with managing their own emotions: “Sometimes it’s worse for the family, so aftercare is essential. Family members experience real psychological problems and that can make it more difficult to manage the patient, so Dementech helps by looking at the whole spectrum.”
The challenge for Michel and the Dementech team is to continually invest in new clinical studies and trials, working towards making the latest research and technology available. Normally research is conducted by institutions, but the clinic is adopting an American approach by investing in its own research and development.
Through these partnerships, the Dementech team can work on advancements towards finding a cure as well as information on drugs to make patients’ lives a lot easier. Their commitment to research and development helps with diagnostics, accuracy and prevention, allowing greater management with disease escalation. “The disease becomes more difficult to live with as you get older so detecting it earlier means that we can support the disease with more ease.”
“Many people think that there isn’t anything that exists for them, but there is hope, and we want to bring them hope,” says Michel. The Dementech clinic is now open in the heart of London’s medical district on Wimpole Street.
Dementech Neurosciences is a clinical practice in the heart of London’s Medical District. The clinic has a team of world-class healthcare experts including neurologists, psychiatrists, geriatricians, psychologists, psychotherapists, neuropsychologists, occupational therapists, dieticians, and speech and language therapists. Options for such treatments include the management and therapy of patients with Dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease) and Movement Disorders (Parkinson’s Disease), and to those with other Neurological problems (Headaches and Migraines), and Mental health problems. A major feature of the clinic is the ability to offer bespoke programmes for those who have not benefitted from more usual approaches, requiring either more complex or intensive interventions.