We welcome Alzheimer’s Society’s priorities 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 Society have released five key priorities for spending over the next decade including continued investment in the UK DRI.

Sent to every MP in the UK earlier in the month, the Briefing, ‘Maximising the Dementia Research Moonshot’, sets out five priority areas that will “make the biggest difference for people affected by dementia.” Alzheimer’s Society, a founding funder of the UK DRI, has called for a broad approach to research that moves us towards potentially life-changing treatments and diagnostics, as well as finding vital solutions for those living with the condition today.

Of the top ten causes of death, dementia is the only one that can’t currently be cured, stopped or even slowed down and by 2040, it is estimated it will cost the UK economy £94.1 billion a year. The investment outlined in the government election pledge would, in practice, bring an extra £800 million over ten years for dementia research.

On the dementia ‘moonshot’ funding, UK DRI DIrector, Prof Bart De Strooper commented earlier in the 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.”  

The key priorities outlined in the Briefing are:

  1. A National Network of Excellence for Dementia Care Research – to drive the development and sharing of new innovative ways to provide care and support to people with dementia.
  2. Transforming care through technology – supporting the design and use of technologies that enable better prevention, diagnosis, management and care of dementia.
  3. Prioritising prevention and public health – to bring greater understanding and awareness of dementia risk reduction approaches, reducing the number of people developing dementia in the future.
  4. Funds to develop new treatments and a cure – additional investment for fundamental brain research, including UK DRI, to understand the causes of dementia towards new targeted treatments and forms of diagnostics.  
  5. Investment to build capacity in dementia research – support for clinicians, PhD students and people at the early stages of their career to grow the dementia research field, ensuring the best minds are committed to dementia research.

The priorities follow the release last month of recommendations for investment of the ‘Dementia Moonshot’ funding from another of UK DRI’s founding funders, Alzheimer’s Research UK.

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

“We are pleased that Alzheimer’s Society have joined our other charity founding funder in recommending continued investment in the vital work taking place at UK DRI. The discovery research carried out every day at our centres is bringing us closer to much-needed treatments. We are also optimistic that cutting-edge new technology being developed at our Care Research and Technology centre will have a profoundly positive impact for those affected by dementia today.”

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.

Article published: 26 February 2020

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