A new initiative which uses table tennis as a drug-free treatment for Alzheimer’s is being launched today – on World Alzheimer’s Day.

Research from King’s College London points to the positive impact of the sport delaying the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s and significantly reducing cognitive decline.

The charity Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy (BAT), in collaboration with Table Tennis England and London Sport, has designed specially-adapted table tennis equipment which helps sufferers to play the sport as therapy.

Birchwood Grange care home in Kenton, London, today becomes the first to receive the table and equipment.

The initiative has been featuring on Sky News today – part of the report can be seen by clicking here

Alongside the table and equipment, care home staff will receive a programme of training to help and deliver ongoing support to their residents.

Ian Craigton-Chambers, Creative Director of the BAT Foundation, which is Table Tennis England’s charity partner for 2016-17, said:

“Whilst working in both the US and Japan, I was very much inspired by the respective applications there of table tennis as a powerful exercise intervention, in combating the effects of Alzheimer’s.

“In Los Angeles a designated centre specifically for Alzheimer’s Table Tennis Therapy has been created, whilst in Japan, neuroscientists refer to table tennis as the ‘World’s Number One Brain Sport’.

“I felt that it was high time that the UK explored the possibilities and potential of this amazing drug free and carer inclusive therapy.

“With the proactive support of London Sport, Table Tennis England together with the expertise of King’s College London, we have established a successful formula to make a difference in the lives of both those affected by the condition as well as those whom have to care for them.”

Emily St John, Head of Development at Table Tennis England, said:

“There is a growing body of research showing the wider benefits table tennis can provide, in particular contributing to health and well-being.

“Providing drug free therapy for those with Alzheimer’s, depression and other conditions is incredibly valuable and we are therefore proud to support the BAT Foundation with their work.”