Increase dementia funding or pay the price

Dr Kieran BreenThis week I added my name to a list of scientists and experts calling on the Government to triple the amount of money invested in dementia research

Dementia affects about 700,000 people in the UK, and is present in some form in 1 in 3 of the 120,000 people with Parkinson's.

But there still isn't the same form of funding from the Government for dementia research as for other conditions like cancer. This means that even though the UK has some of the greatest talent in research, a lack of funding is stopping us finding a way to slow or even reverse the effects of dementia.

In a generation, there will be more than 1.4million people living with dementia in the UK. In economic terms this will cost the UK £50billion per year for care of those people with dementia, not to mention those with the 'double whammy' of Parkinson's disease with dementia.

The Parkinson's Disease Society is currently investing £1.2million in a five year dementia research project, but if the Government triples its annual support for dementia research over five years, this would add £96million to the cause.

Dr Kieran Breen is Director of Research and Development at the Parkinson's Disease Society

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