Charities awarded £5m to revolutionise dementia diagnosis

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By Quang Tran | Monday 15 May 2023

We’re delighted that Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society have been selected as the recipients of this year’s People’s Postcode Lottery (PPL) Dream Fund, worth £5m.

Pictured People’s Postcode Lottery Ambassador Matt Johnson presents a dream fund cheque to the Alzheimer’s Society. Shown left to right is: Zeenath Hussain, Catherine Mccaskie, Laura Chow, Matt Johnson, Charlotte Matier, Fiona Carragher, Samantha Benham-Hermetz. Pictures copyright ©Darren Casey / PPL

This is the biggest single gift that People’s Postcode Lottery has awarded and will fund a ground-breaking research project over the next 5 years. The project will involve working with world class researchers to pilot the implementation of new blood tests in the NHS that can diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier and more accurately.

With two new treatments showing promising clinical trial results for people with early Alzheimer’s disease in the last 6 months, we need to prepare the NHS to make sure these drugs are available to all those who could benefit – and that means diagnosing people at the earliest stages.

As things stand, the way people are diagnosed with dementia in the UK is simply not good enough. Far too often, they are left anxiously waiting for a diagnosis – up to two years on average, and more than four years if they are under 65. That’s if people even go to their doctor about their symptoms – one in three people with dementia never receive a diagnosis. “Making sure future generations won’t have to go through this lengthy worry by bringing a quick, simple blood test to the NHS is a wonderful legacy from People’s Postcode Lottery players all over the country” said our Chief Executive, Hilary Evans.

As well as supporting research into a blood test, the Dream Fund campaign will also work to dispel myths and misconceptions around the condition, and encourage people to come forward for a diagnosis. In our recent survey, 20% of people incorrectly believed that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing, whilst a staggering 20% of the public failed to recognise the terminal nature of the condition, despite it being the leading cause of death in the UK.

If we can fix diagnosis, we open the door for a cure. It’s a bold ambition but, with someone developing dementia every three minutes in the UK, we must aim high.

We look forward to working in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society and People’s Postcode Lottery to deliver this revolutionary project – watch this space!

 

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Quang Tran