How the general election could transform dementia research


By Samantha Benham-Hermetz | Tuesday 19 November 2019

It’s difficult to think of a time when we’ve seen more political turmoil in the UK. Next month’s general election could have major implications for dementia research. So as the country prepares to go to the polls once again, we need your help to tell would-be MPs about the importance of bringing about a life-changing dementia treatment.

Brexit is an important issue for this election, but it’s not the only topic on the agenda.

For many people, health is their top priority. And we know that dementia research is crucial for protecting the nation’s health.

That’s why we’re calling for the next government to increase investment in dementia research to transform lives, and asking you to give just five minutes of your time to help.

No solution without research

Half of us know someone affected by dementia right now. And one in three people born this year will develop the condition in their lifetime, unless we find a way to prevent and treat it. Already dementia is costing the UK economy £26bn a year, and of the country’s top causes of death, it’s the only one without a treatment to stop or slow it – making it the health crisis of our time.

There is no way to solve this crisis, and to stem the rising human and financial cost of dementia, without research.

Thanks to supporters like you, at Alzheimer’s Research UK we’re continuing to spend more on research each year. But government spending on dementia research still lags behind other diseases – especially in comparison to its economic cost. Currently, the government spends £82.5m a year on dementia research, equal to around 0.3% of the condition’s cost. Increasing that to just 1% could make breakthroughs possible.

Whoever forms our next government, they will have enormous power to transform dementia research and we’ll be calling on them to do just that. Our asks for the next government are simple:

  1. Fund more research, so that we can revolutionise our ability to diagnose diseases like Alzheimer’s earlier, and bring about new treatments sooner.
  2. Help people understand how to protect their brain health, so that we can reduce the number of people who will develop dementia in the future.
  3. Prepare the NHS for future life-changing treatments for dementia, so that it can reach the people who need it quickly.

Both the Labour and Conservative parties have recognised challenge of dementia in their manifestos and you can read our response to their pledges here. However, no party has committed to investing 1% of the annual cost of dementia into research, so we need your support to amplify our calls.

Five minutes to change lives

It only takes a few minutes to raise your voice and help us be heard.

Dementia research is not a party political issue. With a health system that’s struggling to cope with the impact of dementia, it’s an issue that affects families in every constituency. We’re asking every political party and every candidate to support our calls – and you can help us reach them.

Write to your candidates

Let your local candidates know why dementia research matters to you. Together we can make breakthroughs possible


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Samantha Benham-Hermetz