PM plans dementia study funds rise
Published on 26 March 2012 10:30 AM
Dementia funding research will be more than doubled in the next three years to deal with the 'national crisis' which the condition poses, the Prime Minister is to announce.
David Cameron is to say that tackling the issue is one of his personal priorities, and that it is a 'scandal' that the UK has not taken more action over dementia. By 2015 funding for research into dementia will rise to £66 million. The figure was £26.6 million in 2010.
Mr Cameron's 'national challenge on dementia' will reveal proposals to increase studies into treatments and cures and to ensure that the health and social care systems can handle the predicted surge in cases.
The condition is believed to affect 800,000 people although around 533,000 (two thirds) of these have not been diagnosed and do not know they are suffering from it. The numbers affected are expected to increase to more than a million during the next decade. The cost of the disease to society has been put at £23 billion.
Alzheimer's Society's chief executive Jeremy Hughes said too many of the 800,000 sufferers of dementia cannot live well with the condition and even though Mr Cameron was 'leading the way', everyone has a role to play in alleviating the problem, 'from Plymouth to Preston, from the boardroom to bus drivers'.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK, commented: 'For too long dementia and the effect it has on both patients and carers has been ignored, so the news that government research funding is set to double is extremely welcome.
'With the number of people aged 60 and over set to reach 20 million by 2031, it is crucial that we have an NHS and social care system in place that is fit to meet the needs of older people today and in the future. Only by doing this and by funding research can we hope to offer those with the disease dignity and respect and hopefully find preventions, treatments or even cures.
'Through vital donations, Age UK funds a range of age-related research including the Disconnected Mind which is a unique project, producing world class research into cognitive ageing.
'We also campaign on crucial issues such as social care - people can sign our petition for reform of the system at www.ageuk.org.uk/careincrisis.'
Copyright Press Association 2012