Alzheimer’s Research UK applauds support for revolutionary early diagnosis effort

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By Alice Tuohy | Monday 21 May 2018

In an announcement today, Prime Minister Theresa May is to outline a new early diagnosis of disease project under the Grand Challenge on Artificial Intelligence in the Industrial Strategy.

The Prime Minister is expected to highlight the potential for emerging technologies to cross-reference large quantities of data and diagnose a range of diseases much earlier.

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, is working to develop an accurate, cost-effective tool to diagnose dementia 15-20 years earlier than we do today.

An accurate diagnosis helps people living with dementia and their families begin to make sense of their symptoms and opens the door to the support and treatments that they need. Currently, diagnosis occurs after a patient presents at their GP with problems such as memory decline, yet these symptoms only appear 15-20 years after damage begins in the brain.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“Alzheimer’s Research UK warmly welcomes the government’s announcement that the Grand Challenge on Artificial Intelligence will focus on early diagnosis of disease. The ability to diagnose dementia earlier and more accurately opens the door to the support and treatments people living with the condition need.

“Diagnosing dementia before symptoms begin is a crucial goal for research and requires technology that has yet to be harnessed. That’s why Alzheimer’s Research UK is working to revolutionise the way we diagnose dementia and looks forward to seeing the Grand Challenge support this effort.

“This is an opportunity for the UK to lead the world and today’s announcement demonstrates how government leadership can catalyse groundbreaking change. Dementia is our greatest medical challenge, and we have a duty to ensure people with dementia and their families can benefit from advances in diagnosis that could transform their quality of life.”


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Alice Tuohy