By Jacob Nicol

FORMULA One legend and Dumbarton-born Sir Jackie Stewart has helped raise £100,000 to beat dementia with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at a charity dinner.

The event was hosted by Optical Express in aid of Race Against Dementia, which funds pioneering research into dementia diagnosis and treatment.

Sir Jackie Stewart said: “As a Formula 1 driver, if I hadn’t had the best mechanics, I wouldn’t have been able to win world championships.

“Breakthroughs in the sport have resulted in huge leaps forward in performance and safety, and we need to bring the same creativity to dementia research.

“Dementia is the biggest killer of any disease in the UK, but with new research and ingenuity we will find faster ways to detect, prevent, manage and ultimately cure this terrible condition.”

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Race Against Dementia was founded by Sir Jackie following his wife Lady Helen’s dementia diagnosis.

The charity works in partnership with some of the world’s leading medical research institutions and funds pioneering research to “work smarter and faster to cure dementia.”

There are currently 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025.

Ms Sturgeon said: “I know how determined Sir Jackie is, not just to support Lady Helen, but also to help advance the crucial dementia research agenda.

“I want to thank the Stewart family for everything they are doing through Race Against Dementia and assure them that the Scottish Government is committed to exploring how we can work together on dementia research.”