Mum with 50% chance of Alzheimer’s to PM – ‘Change my family’s future’
By Alex Smith | Monday 29 July 2019
Leading dementia charity Alzheimer’s Research UK is standing with Carli Pirie, a woman with a 50/50 chance of developing early-onset Alzheimer’s in her 40s, to ask Prime Minister Boris Johnson to invest in better treatments, diagnosis and preventions for people with dementia.
Without a way to stop or prevent the diseases that cause dementia, one in three children born today will go on to develop the condition in their lifetime.
The odds are worse for Carli and her family. Her family has a rare genetic form of Alzheimer’s. Carli’s mother and grandmother both developed early-onset Alzheimer’s in their late 40s and Carli has a 50/50 chance of carrying the gene.
Alzheimer’s Research UK, and nearly 35,000 supporters, have called on the government to change the lives of people like Carli and her family by funding more dementia research than ever before. Together, they’re calling for Mr Johnson to invest just 1% of the annual cost of dementia in research each year.
Dementia costs the UK economy £26bn a year, a number carried almost entirely by social care and unpaid carers. Analysis from Alzheimer’s Research UK shows that if we had a treatment that could delay the onset of dementia by five years, there would be 36% fewer people with the condition by the next decade, greatly decreasing pressure on the social care system and unpaid carers.
Carli has called on the Prime Minister, saying:
“I need to know that everything possible is being done to protect the future for my daughter and the rest of her generation to end the heartbreak that dementia causes.
“I am doing all I can to change the future by taking part in dementia research, this includes undergoing various cognitive tests, PET and MRI scans and a lumbar puncture every year. But this research costs money, so I am asking you in your new role as Prime Minister to make a commitment to increase funding for dementia research and help find the treatments we so desperately need.”
Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“We hear from people with dementia and their loved ones that what they want most are life-changing treatments. Because dementia is caused by diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, we know that research, with the right support, can give us the tools we need to identify these diseases early, treat them more effectively and improve the lives of people with dementia.
“No one has yet survived dementia. We’re asking the new Prime Minister to join us in the vision that we could one day live in a world where that’s no longer true.”
People who want to stand with Carli by writing to the Prime Minister can do so at alzres.uk/PM
Dementia is the leading cause of death in the UK. Today, 850,000 people live with the condition, a number that will jump to 1 million by 2021 and double to 2 million by 2050.
Learn more about Alzheimer’s Research UK’s call for research funding at www.alzres.uk/just1percent