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UK urged to lead dementia research

Published on 11 December 2013 02:30 PM

David Cameron wants the UK to take a worldwide lead in dementia research.

The Prime Minister is due to host the G8 dementia summit in London, which is expected to agree to a package of measures on international information-sharing and collaboration when it comes to new studies.


He will call for government investment in dementia research to double from £66 million in 2015 to £122 million in 2025 - with similar increases from the commercial and charitable sectors.

Dementia afflicts '36 million people around the world'

A newly established UK Dementia Platform will allow different research teams across the country to share data in order to increase the scale and scope of their work, while the Medical Research Council is channelling £50 million into dementia research over the next five years.

Dementia is now believed to afflict 36 million people around the world, including around 800,000 in the UK.

The risk of developing the debilitating brain condition increases with age, usually occurring in individuals over the age of 65.

It can cause problems with memory loss, thinking speed, mental agility, language, understanding and judgement.

The importance of achieving scientific breakthroughs

In a keynote address, Mr Cameron will stress the importance of achieving scientific breakthroughs in order to slow down, or even prevent, the onset of dementia.

He will also emphasise the importance of the life sciences sector to the UK economy with GSK announcing £200 million of investment at its manufacturing plants at Ware, Hertfordshire, and Worthing, Sussex, and UCB announcing a further £3 million.

We must 'work globally'

'In the past two years we've seen £2 billion invested in this country, that will not only mean more jobs and growth, but also more research and greater progress, and it's a huge sign of confidence in our economy,' he said, speaking ahead of the summit.

'But if we are to beat dementia, we must also work globally, with nations, business and scientists from all over the world working together as we did with cancer, and with HIV and Aids.

'Today, we will get some of the most powerful nations around the table in London to agree how we must go forward together, working towards that next big breakthrough.'

Copyright Press Association 2013

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Last updated: Dec 05 2018

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