Accelerated deaths of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia highlights urgent need for funding, says Alzheimer’s Research UK

23 March 2022

Alzheimer’s Research UK said more funding is needed for dementia research after figures reveal COVID-19 pandemic may have indirectly accelerated other causes of death, including Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We’ve known for some time that people with dementia have been hit disproportionately hard during the pandemic. But it is heartbreaking to see confirmation of how COVID-19 has accelerated the deaths of so many people with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“Even taking into account the higher number of deaths earlier in the pandemic, dementia returned as the leading cause of death in England in Wales in January this year. These figures serve as a stark reminder of the growing challenge we face in tackling dementia, and the urgent need to address it.

“The need for more investment in dementia research has never been greater. With sustained, increased funding, we can use the lessons learned during the pandemic as an opportunity to enhance research into the diseases that cause dementia.

“We’re calling for the government to set up a Dementia Medicines Taskforce to apply the same approach that delivered life-saving COVID-19 vaccines to bringing about the first life-changing treatments for people who desperately need them.”

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