Boost for dementia research ‘still not enough’

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CAMPAIGNERS in Yorkshire have welcomed extra Government funding into dementia research but said much more investment was needed to fund a cure.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced a doubling of Government spending for dementia research and called on other countries to step up their efforts.

“We are renewing our commitment to say by 2025 we want to find a cure to dementia. We should treat this as a disease rather than as some natural part of ageing,” he said.

“We need to develop more drugs, we need to get those drugs to patients faster, we need more international collaboration and, crucially, we need more money into dementia research.

“We are doubling, this year, the amount of money the British Government spends on dementia research to £66 million but we need other countries to do the same and to work together.”

He said public services and businesses should be aware of the needs of people with dementia and people must develop a better understanding of the condition.

Judith Gregory, Alzheimer’s Society Yorkshire operations manager, said: “One in three people over 65 will develop dementia and yet in the UK, we spend eight times less on research into the condition than we do on cancer. Government funded research on dementia in England has almost doubled since 2009 from £28.2m to £52.2m, but we need to see this investment continue and grow.

“The number of people with the condition in Yorkshire and nationally continues to grow year on year and we need a united, global effort to find treatments to slow the effect of the condition and ultimately find a cure. It is shocking to hear that only three new drugs have been developed for dementia in the last 15 years and this really needs to change.

“We need the same kind of huge investment we’ve seen in cancer and AIDS if we are to give people precious years back by delaying the onset of dementia, improve the quality of their life through better care and then achieve last year’s G8 pledge of a cure for dementia by 2025.”

The charity will spend £100million on dementia research over the next decade. Yorkshire supporters raised £1.7m last year.