Representatives of Alzheimer’s Research UK recently met with MPs in parliament to mark World Alzheimer’s Month and highlight the urgent need to secure more funding for dementia research.
The event was attended by more than 100 MPs from across all parties to help the country’s legislators focus their attention on the devastation caused by dementia in the UK, and the potential for research to overcome it.
The MPs took the opportunity to hear more about the value of research and what it means for their constituents. They were also invited to sign a letter to the Chancellor calling on him to honour the government’s election pledge to double dementia research funding ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on 27 October.
Nearly one million people in the UK have dementia, a figure that is expected to rise to two million by 2050. By 2040, it is estimated that dementia will cost the economy £55 billion.
David Thomas, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Dementia is one of the biggest health challenges we face, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this with people with dementia tragically representing a quarter of all COVID-19 deaths.
“The need for more research funding has never been greater, and this event was a great opportunity to engage with MPs and underline how important this is for the people they represent. The government needs to make dementia research a top priority when it considers the Chancellor’s Spending Review this autumn.
“Additional funding and prioritisation from government will be the only route to accelerating the development of much-needed new treatments and ultimately, achieving our goal of freeing people from the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia.”