Anger as Government Spending on Dementia Research Decreases

Government spending on dementia research has decreased says Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central.

The Conservative Manifesto in 2019 contained a promise to double Research and Development (R&D) spending on dementia research, however, government spending on dementia research has in factdecreased.

Ms Onwurah submitted a written question to the government, and it’s response Revealed thatthat total research spending on dementia had dropped from £112.9 million to £104.7 million from 2018/19 to 2019/20.

With UK cases set to increase by 75% by 2050, now is not the time to be cutting back on dementia research. From the despatch box, Chi asked:

“Would the Minister confirm that dementia R&D spend has gone down since his government took office?”

The Minister, George Freeman MP, did not deny spending had decreased, stating “we are in the process of allocating money” without specifying whether this would meet the manifesto commitment to doubling dementia research spending.

Dr Richard Oakley, Associate Director for Research said: ‘Research will beat dementia, but we need more funding to understand what causes dementia, develop effective treatments, improve care and one day find a cure.’

After Covid-19, dementia was the leading cause of death in the UK in 2020 – we owe it to the 900,000 people in the UK currently living with dementia and their families to understand the condition better, so that they can live better.

‘There aren’t any treatments that can stop of slow down the progression of the diseases that cause dementia available in the UK yet, but dementia research – despite chronic underfunding – had been gradually gaining momentum and starting to deliver exciting results.

‘Without investment, this could grind to a halt and threaten much-needed new therapies, diagnostic tests and care provision.’

‘It’s two years since the Government’s promise to double dementia research funding – yet nothing has happened. Alzheimer’s Society is calling on Government to honour their commitment to double dementia research funding and rescue the hopes of dementia research.’