David Cameron has announced funding for research into dementia is to be doubled to £66m by 2015 to try to make the UK a world leader in the field
The commitment is part of a broader dementia challenge that will build on England’s existing National Dementia Strategy to drive up diagnosis rates, raise public awareness of the condition and improve the quality of care for people living with dementia.
Total funding from these organisations for dementia research in England was £26.6 million in 2009/10, the government said.
At the same time, a new report from the Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia 2012: A national challenge, has mapped out the human and economic cost of dementia, both now and to come.
There are already 800,000 people living with dementia in the UK and an estimated 670,000 family members and friends acting as primary carers, the report notes.
The current financial cost of the disease to the National Health Service, local authorities and families is £23 billion a year, which is expected to reach £27 billion by 2018.
Under the prime minister’s dementia challenge to society, the medical profession, business and government, the aim is to “go further and faster” towards delivering major improvements in dementia care, awareness and research by 2015.
Three ‘Champion Groups’ have been set up to direct work these areas. They will report back to the prime minister in six months’ time.