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Investment in dementia research ‘critical’, government told

Charity urges government to dedicate 1 per cent of societal cost of disease to research

A leading British Alzheimer’s charity has backed calls to increase investment in dementia research at a “critical” time for those living with the disease.

Alzheimer’s Research UK announced on 25 June that it was supporting a call made in a report published by Alzheimer’s Disease International for all governments to dedicate a minimum of 1 per cent of the societal cost of the disease to research.

According to the report, the Covid-19 pandemic has “highlighted a critical need for innovation in the provision of dementia care for all levels of health and social care systems globally”.

“It is only through research that we will ultimately make the breakthroughs in risk reduction, treatment, care and cure that we all strive for,” the report said. “We must address the challenges and opportunities presented by the global Covid-19 pandemic with optimism and vigour.”

Samantha Benham-Hermetz, director of policy and public affairs at the UK charity, said: “The UK government must recognise that the higher Covid-19 death rate in people with dementia has highlighted the need to radically increase our response to the condition through improved prevention, diagnosis and treatments.

“For too long, dementia research has been underfunded compared to other health conditions. The government must learn from the devastating impact Covid-19 is having for people with dementia, so we can pick up the pace in funding for dementia research that will help more people stay connected to their families for longer.”

The call comes at a troubling time for medical research, with the Association of Medical Research Charities predicting a £310 million shortfall in funding over the next year.