Alzheimer’s Research UK has highlighted the need for more investment in dementia research, following a study which revealed that the number of people dying from the condition is expected to quadruple by 2040.
The research by scientists at King’s College London, published in the journal BMC Medicine, looked at the growing need for palliative care due to our ageing population. Results from the study suggest that if recent mortality trends continue, 160,000 more people in England and Wales will need palliative care by 2040.
Analysis of the results suggests that dementia and cancer will be the main drivers for increased need, with the number of dementia deaths per year increasing from 59,199 to 219,409 by 2040, and cancer deaths increasing from 143,638 to 208,636.
Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and we know that unless research can deliver new treatments and preventions, this challenge will only get worse, as these findings highlight. That is why it is so important that we invest in research to find a life-changing treatment for people with dementia – and Alzheimer’s Research UK’s is working hard to achieve this by 2025. Only through research will we be able to reduce the number of people dying from the condition and relieve the long-term pressures on the care system.
“The figures from this study are very alarming, but we can prevent this becoming the reality if we invest now in pioneering research. Research is making progress, so we must not lose momentum now: the last government made dementia a priority, and as we head closer to the next general election on 8 June, we need to know dementia has not slipped from the political agenda.”