Dementia remains the biggest killer in the UK and is on track to be the nation’s most expensive health condition by 2030. If nothing changes, one in two of us will be directly affected by it - either by caring for someone with the condition, developing it ourselves or both.

But we believe there is a substantial opportunity to change this outlook. New ways of diagnosing the diseases that cause dementia earlier and more accurately, like blood tests for Alzheimer’s disease, are showing promise. New treatments that can affect the course of Alzheimer’s disease could be approved in the UK in just a few months’ time. New insights are showing how we can reduce the prevalence of dementia in the first place by addressing factors that affect our brain health.

But this can only happen if political parties commit to sustained, bold and ambitious action at the forthcoming general election. We call on all political parties to harness the outcomes of dementia research to revolutionise the way we prevent, diagnose and treat dementia.

We’re calling on government to:

  1. Develop a cross-governmental strategy for the prevention of ill health to address the health and lifestyle factors that affect our brain health, reducing dementia risk whilst also improving the health and wellbeing of the population.
  2. Invest in the current diagnostic pathway to make it fit for purpose, ensuring it has the resources it needs to meet growing demands, identifying people who could benefit from new treatments or participate in dementia research in a timely way.
  3. Include savings in informal care and carers’ quality of life when NICE evaluate the cost-effectiveness of new dementia treatments, making sure viable treatments are available on the NHS as soon as reasonably possible.
  4. Establish the UK as a world leader in dementia research, capitalising on initiatives such as the dementia mission and increasing opportunities for people to participate in research across the country.

One theme underpins all these recommendations – dementia research. Research breakthroughs must reach the people who can benefit from them, now.