Formula One teams will mentor new research fellowsCredit: Charles Coates/ Getty Images Europe Scientists researching ways to beat dementia are to receive help from Formula One racing teams in an attempt to accelerate the number of breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of the disease.Sir Jackie Stewart, the three times F1 world champion, has launched a £2 million project to see how the high-tech motor racing industry can help academics process data, promote rapid innovation and use artificial intelligence to boost research.The scheme, which sees Sir Jackie’s Race Against Dementia and Alzheimer’s Research UK join forces, will create a series of academic fellowships to promote the work of young scientist eager to help the 850,000 people in the UK living with the condition.Formula One teams from McLaren and Red Bull Racing will act as mentors to the scientists and show how their research techniques can be applied to the laboratory. It is hoped the teams behind a racing driver’s success will be able to also promote a collaborative and dynamic culture to speed up the pace of discoveries.The move follows Sir Jackie and his family’s experiences of seeing his wife, Lady Helen Stewart, suffer from the condition.She was diagnosed with the condition four years ago which resulted in Sir Jacke’s family’s world being “turned upside down”.He said: “The Race Against Dementia is the greatest challenge of my life, but with the right people and the right approach we can encourage and accelerate a new way of thinking and cross the finish line with success.“With these new research fellowships, we want to attract the best new talent from every corner of the world and not only catalyse their research with funding, but to throw open the door to a whole range of opportunities that will support a can-do mindset and accelerate a new generation of scientists to beat this horrendous illness.”Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity said: “These new fellowships are targeted at up-and-coming scientific global talent and will stimulate the careers of researchers with the drive and ambition to make breakthroughs possible that will transform lives.”Three years ago, McLaren Applied Technologies teamed up with the University of Oxford to try to use pitstop technology and their efficient trackside teamwork to improve treatment in emergency departments.The latest research investment comes on top of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s support for research projects worth more than £27 million in leading British universities.In a moving account, Sir Jackie Stewart explains the impact Alzheimer’s has had on his wifeIt’s been a little over four years since my wife Helen was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. It’s been heart breaking for the family to witness her decline. When people think of dementia, they most commonly think of memory decline, of losing moments and faces and the confusion and upset that ensues. Helen does have severe problems with her short term memory, which makes everyday life difficult, but the condition has also taken a profound physical toll on her. She has become frail to the point that she cannot now walk unaided. It hurts us both when she falls.Helen was uniquely talented as a timekeeper; she had razor-sharp abilities and was revered in F1 circles. Today she has no recall of even the simplest things, like where she is. It is a deeply cruel illness, not just for the person affected, but for the whole family.We are fortunate that we can provide Helen home care, but I know this is not an option for many, and there are millions of families around the world who struggle to cope when dementia arrives in their lives. My heart goes out to them and the situations they find themselves in.Over the past two years I’ve met specialists and scientists around the world who worked to diagnose Helen and help us make sense of what’s happening in her brain. We learned, with dismay, that there is no cure for dementia. The horrendous reality is that it’s been 16 years since the last dementia drug, and while that treatment can help some with their symptoms for a time, it can’t stop the destruction of the disease in their brain. It will slowly take its ultimate toll.In 2002, when Helen was diagnosed with breast cancer, we were able to access the best medical help, and through treatment she was completely cured. It was astonishing to us to find that progress in relation to dementia has not kept pace. Of course, the brain is an incredibly complex organ, but dementia has also sadly received a small fraction of the attention, and funding, compared with diseases like cancer and heart disease, where progress has transformed lives.In my career on the track, I saw staggering technological progress. Innovation was implemented at phenomenal pace. And while lap times were shaved, we also drove dramatic advancements in safety that saved lives. At times, the resistance to change was incredible, but we simply had to rise to the challenge of halting the record of deaths. When problems arose, we didn’t accept defeat, and answers were found. This gave me a trust in determination, and a belief now that it can, and will, be brought to bear in dementia research. I’m committed to making this possible.I established Race Against Dementia, a charity dedicated to the relentless pursuit of a dementia cure, imbued with the spirit of F1 pace and innovation. Today we are launching a £2m search for a new ambitious generation of brilliant scientists, supported by world-leading institutions, that we’ll commit to a new way of working. As well as giving these men and women the resources they need to bring their goals to reality, we’ll also inspire them with Formula 1 acumen, which will see them mentored by leading teams from F1. I believe the sparks these collaborations create will drive faster progress and even bigger thinking to create life-changing breakthroughs.Our Race Against Dementia Fellowships will get underway in earnest next year, with the support of Alzheimer’s Research UK, our partner. I eagerly anticipate their progress in identifying new ways to prevent or treat the diseases behind dementia before it becomes a devastating and overwhelming crisis for families and societies around the world. Our goal is to inject new pace into research and unlock a breakthrough to help Helen and the millions like her.We are striving to find answers that will avoid the heartache that we are experiencing, for millions in the future. In my career in motorsports, the innovations that I made possible, drove a safety revolution where many thought nothing could be done. I didn’t accept the barriers to change then, and I don’t accept them now. There are no problems, there are only solutions. The diseases behind dementia are complex and the challenge is high, but our ambition and ingenuity are higher, and the race against dementia is one we intend to win. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.