We welcome Alzheimer’s Research UK’s recommendations for government ‘Dementia Moonshot’ funding

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Following the recent general election pledge by The Conservative Party to double investment in dementia research to find treatments, Alzheimer’s Research UK have released six key priorities for spending over the next decade including continued investment in the UK DRI.

In the report ‘Delivering the Dementia Moonshot: A plan to find life-changing treatments’, Alzheimer’s Research UK, a founding funder of the UK DRI, outlines priority areas of investment and steps required to fulfil the ambition of bringing life-changing treatments to people affected by dementia. By 2021, over one million people in the UK will be living with dementia at a cost to the UK economy of £30 billion each year. 

If we want to achieve breakthroughs in dementia, like those seen in the cancer field, we have to move towards the same levels of investment. This government pledge is a step in the right direction and brings hope for those living with the condition. Prof Bart De Strooper, UK DRI Director

The key priorities outlined in the report are:

1. Find ways to detect the diseases that cause dementia 10-15 years earlier – funding support for a new ‘Early detection of Neurodegenerative diseases’ initiative.

2. Find ways to more effectively validate novel targets in early drug development to maximise chances of successful clinical trials – establishing a ‘Dementia Translational Medicines Accelerator’.

3. Make the UK the best place to conduct clinical dementia research – establish a single enriched “trial ready” cohort, research funding to retain clinical dementia academics and boost capacity for existing memory clinics.

4. Expand research infrastructure to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in dementia research – further £200 million investment of UK DRI, beyond 2023, and support for other centres of excellence.

5. Further our understanding of dementia risk reduction and prevention and dementia in the context of multi-morbidities – build on existing longitudinal studies and fund research that mines existing data platforms.

6. Develop robust prevalence data for dementia to further our knowledge of the impact of dementia across our society – funding for a national representative cohort study to achieve better estimate of dementia prevalence. 

UK DRI Director of Operations, Dr Adrian Ivinson, welcomed the recommendations, saying,

“We are pleased that our friends and colleagues at Alzheimer’s Research UK have recognised the valuable progress of the UK DRI so far and the need to maintain investment in the institute. We welcome the recommended funding priorities, particularly early disease detection and validation of novel targets for drug development.”

The UK DRI will work closely with our founding funders and the government to ensure funding continues to be directed towards dementia research, in areas that will make the greatest impact to improve lives.

Read the full report here

Article published: 21 January 2020

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