Government announces £22 million to boost dementia research

Published 20 December 2012

Government spending on dementia research will be boosted by two thirds thanks to a £22 million cash injection announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The money, part of the National Institute for Health Research’s 'themed dementia call', will fund projects into a range of areas including improving hospital care for people with dementia and exploring the use of diabetes drugs to treat the condition.  Nearly £14 million of the funding announced today is going to projects being delivered in conjunction with Alzheimer’s Society.

The landmark announcement comes as a significant boost to efforts to tackle dementia, a progressive condition which affects 800,000 people and has no cure. Dementia costs the economy more than heart disease and stroke but currently receives far less funding than other conditions. There are currently 60 times more clinical trials for cancer than for Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia.

Projects which Alzheimer's Society is helping to deliver include:

  • A £2 million study by academics at the University of East Anglia to radically improve hospital care for people with dementia.
  • £1.4 million in funding for a University of Bristol study into using a commonly available drug for high blood pressure as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • £2.4 million towards research into earlier diagnosis and rehabilitation of those with Alzheimer’s disease led by Bangor University. 
  • £900,000 funding into improving management of pain for people with dementia.

Jeremy Hughes, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Society said:

'Dementia is the greatest health and social care challenge of our time and defeating it needs to be a priority for society. As it stands, there are currently more clinical trials into hayfever than there are into some of the most common forms of dementia.

One in three people over the age of 65 will develop dementia. We need an all out fightback, the likes of which we have seen against cancer over the last 50 years. This funding will give hope to the 800,000 people living with dementia and boost the efforts Alzheimer’s Society is already making to find a cure for the condition.'

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