Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, welcomes the Prime Minister’s announcement of a concerted multilateral approach to tackling the UK’s dementia crisis in a speech in London today. Across three themes of improving health and social care, public awareness and involvement, and stepping up research, Mr Cameron has expressed as a “personal priority” his ambition to tackle dementia.
The research component of the announcement sees the Prime Minister reveal a doubling in funding for dementia research to £66m, alongside other smaller funding streams for innovation and social science.
Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“The Prime Minister talks of dementia as a quiet crisis, but today he has sounded the alarm. Mr Cameron has doubled public funding for dementia research, something for which we have long campaigned. This is an important step towards recognising both the scale of our dementia challenge and the scientific talent we have in the UK to solve it.
“This is a turning point in our battle to defeat dementia, but investment must continue to increase if we are to avert the drastic economic costs of dementia that lie in wait. Alzheimer’s Research UK looks forward to working with Government to ensure that this new funding achieves what is so desperately needed – new treatments and therapies.
“The way we care for people with dementia today will be the test of how compassionate a society we really are, but the long term answer to dementia lies in research. UK dementia scientists lead the world in terms of research quality and impact, with increased funds, our researchers will deliver the answers”.
Vivienne Hill, an Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion, lost her mother Mary to early-onset Alzheimer’s, she said:
“This could be the Government fully waking up to how serious dementia is becoming for families around the country. Hundreds of thousands more people are set to develop dementia as we all grow older, we have to be both ready to care and to fight tooth and nail to find new treatments. Research is the only answer for getting those desperately-needed drugs, I hope this new funding will help speed up development – it can’t happen quickly enough.”