Dementia research is at risk. Help us to change that.


By Ian Wilson | Thursday 10 September 2020

Ten months ago, the Conservatives promised to double funding for dementia research to over £160 million a year.

The world has changed dramatically since that pledge was made. But the need for much greater investment in dementia research has not. In fact, dementia research is more critical now than ever before.

That’s why we’re calling on government to deliver on its promise to double research funding for the condition, as part of a ‘Dementia Moonshot’. And we need your help to make this happen.

Why dementia research is at risk

COVID-19 has had a tragic impact on people affected by dementia. In fact, a quarter of the people who have died from the virus in England and Wales also had dementia. We cannot begin to imagine how frightening and devastating these past few months have been for those living with the condition and their loved ones.

But to make matters worse, progress in dementia research is at risk of being lost because of COVID-19 – meaning the life-changing treatments we’re striving for could face delays.

Scientists have had to delay, curtail or abandon their projects due to the pandemic. While many researchers are now back in the lab, social distancing measures mean that they are unable to work at the pace they once did. And funding opportunities for those in the field have been reduced, leaving their futures in dementia research uncertain.

Worryingly, our survey of researchers found that as a result of COVID-19:

This paints a very troubling picture for the future of dementia research and one the field, and those affected by the condition, cannot afford.

A historic lack of investment in the area has meant dementia research is already playing catch up when compared to other health areas. But in recent years we have been making promising steps forward and new treatments are in our sights. We cannot lose this momentum. We cannot let COVID-19 set us back.

How can we save progress?

During the general election, the government showed its support once again for dementia research when it vowed to double its funding to help find a cure.

Of course, since then the world has changed. But while it’s right that the threat of COVID-19 has been the government’s main focus, we cannot lose sight of the need to invest in dementia research. Dementia is still our greatest long-term health challenge, and people living with the condition, who have borne the brunt of the pandemic, need to know that our government is still committed to solving it.

So we’re calling on the government to deliver on its promise to double dementia research funding. But we need your help to make sure government hears this call and responds to it. You can get involved by writing to your MP and urging them to push government to come through on its promise to double dementia research funding. Our online tool makes it easy for you to make your voice heard.

Write to your MP

With your help, we can tell the government that only through research will we bring about the life-changing treatments people with dementia desperately need.


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About the author

Ian Wilson

Ian, Chief Executive, joined Alzheimer’s Research UK in September 2013 and is responsible for leading our fundraising, marketing and communications activities. In order to make breakthroughs possible it is critical that Alzheimer's Research UK continues to build awareness and understanding of the key issues at hand, and to raise the funding needed to drive forward our research programme.