£50m boost for motor neurone disease research as part of wider government investment

15 November 2021

The UK government has announced at least £50 million in funding for motor neurone disease (MND) research as part of a £375m investment into neurodegenerative disease research.

The story, announced on Sunday 14 November, references that the full funding package will cover a range of diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.

What we are saying about the announcement:

Hilary Evans, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“As the UK’s leading dementia research charity, we welcome investment for research into a devastating neurodegenerative disease like motor neurone disease. The diseases that cause dementia and MND have commonalities, so this funding could help bolster life-changing research efforts into both conditions.

“Like all new funding announcements like this, the devil is in the detail. We await full details of the £375m investment, including whether this is new funding, where the wider investment will be focused and ultimately, how it will benefit people living with dementia.

“In the latest Spending Review, the government missed an opportunity to deliver on its own manifesto pledge to double funding for dementia research. More than 50,000 of our campaigners were loud and clear about how much this increased funding matters to people with dementia. We now need the government to be clear about when they will honour their £160m a year ‘Dementia Moonshot’ pledge and how they will do it.

“It’s inspiring to see campaigners for MND research drive this announcement from government and we will continue to push for action for people with dementia. With our incredible supporters by our side, we will never stop working towards breakthroughs for people with dementia.”

Moonshot opportunity missed

In the 2021 Autumn Spending Review, the Chancellor made no mention of the government’s 2019 manifesto promise to double dementia research funding. Alzheimer’s Research UK is now calling for part of the Life Sciences Vision funding to address dementia research.

The Spending Review, which sets out government spending for the next three years, was a prime opportunity to deliver on their promise to increase dementia research to £160 million a year.

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