Doctor Who star calls on everyone to do THIS to beat Alzheimer’s

The brain of a person with Alzheimer’s can weigh around 140 grams less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange

Doctor Who actor Christopher Eccleston is confronting people’s misconceptions about dementia in the thought-provoking video he wants everyone to share.

In the clip he uses an orange to demonstrate how dementia is not a natural part of getting older and is caused by diseases which attack the brain.

Christopher , whose father died with vascular dementia after having the condition for 14 years asks people to watch the clip, put together by Wallace and Gromit makers Aardman Animation.

Developed by Alzheimer’s Research UK it features an orange gradually stripped away to demonstrate how the diseases that cause dementia, most commonly Alzheimer’s, physically attack the brain.

Appeal: Christopher Eccleston wants you to share the orange

Through damage caused by the disease, the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s can weigh around 140 grams less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange.

Read more : Lonely old man calls radio station phone-in and what happens next will make you smile

The campaign urges viewers to #sharetheorange to help get people thinking differently about dementia and fight the enduring misconception that the condition is just a by-product of age.

A recent YouGov survey commissioned by Alzheimer’s Research UK revealed that, when asked what they think dementia is and who it affects, just 23 per cent of British adults specifically mentioned brain disease or degeneration.

Dementia: Can be beaten

The animation will run parallel to a two-week national TV advertising campaign, which first airs tonight during ITV’s Coronation Street .

Read more : Moving video shows dementia patients playing with orchestra in bid to boost key brain skills

The star-studded commercial features a host of famous faces, including Christopher,Seth Rogen , James Nesbitt , Arlene Phillips, Katie Derham and the late Sir Terry Pratchett .

The advert highlights the challenge of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and urges people to start fighting back against the condition in the same way society has responded to cancer, heart disease or AIDS.

Christopher said: “We have to think differently about dementia.

Research: Diseases like cancer and heart disease can be beaten

“We have to stop believing dementia is an inevitability; something that simply happens to us all as we grow older. If we don’t, we’re never going to truly fight it.

“Dementia is caused by diseases and diseases can be beaten.

“We’ve tamed diseases like cancer and heart disease and a diagnosis of either is no longer a certain death sentence. People with dementia deserve this same hope.

“While scientists fight dementia in the lab, by sharing the film anyone can fight the misunderstanding and fatalism that surrounds dementia in our society.”

Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK Hilary Evans said: “At the heart of the #sharetheorange campaign is a challenge for the public to share this thought-provoking video to address misunderstanding around dementia.

Help: Share the orange

“Major breakthroughs have been made in the battle against AIDS and cancer, and research will bring these same life-changing advancements in the field of dementia.

“To get there, we must stop fearing dementia as something that just happens as we age, and focus on fighting the diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, that are the root cause of it.

“There are still no treatments that can slow or stop the disease processes in the brain, but with the support of a nation, Alzheimer’s Research UK will win the fight against dementia.”