'Long-term dementia plan required'
Published on 25 January 2012 12:30 PM
The Government should put a long-term plan in place for dementia research and get more 'white coats' on the case, according to a leading charity.
A national research strategy should be drawn up to combat the increasing rates of dementia in an ageing population, while more scientists should be working in the field, Alzheimer's Research UK said.
Putting such a plan in place would foster innovation with risk-taking initiatives, remove any unnecessary bureaucracy and encourage ring-fencing of dementia research funding.
Charity campaigner Susie Hewer from East Sussex travels to the House of Commons on Wednesday for the launch of the Defeating Dementia report, which is urging the Government not to squander the UK's research potential.
Ms Hewer, 54, has campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness for the need for more research after her mother, Peggy, died in 2005 following a long struggle with vascular dementia.
Rebecca Wood, the chief executive of Alzheimer's Research UK, the report's authors, said it was right that the challenge dementia poses is given 'serious attention' and that we should not 'paper over the cracks'.
She continued: 'The only answer to dementia lies in research that will deliver new treatments and preventions.
'Government and other funders have taken some positive steps towards boosting research efforts in the UK, but we can't rely on flash-in-the-pan tactics. Through our recommendations, we are challenging all funders to take an essential long-term view on dementia research.'
In the report, Alzheimer's Research UK warns that the UK's world-renowned dementia knowledge base could be lost unless scientists have better opportunities to enter and remain in the field.
James Goodwin, Age UK's Head of Research and a member of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research, was at the launch. He said, 'We support any initiative to support increased output of quality research in the UK on this devastating condition'.
Copyright Press Association 2012