Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has called for the new government to renew its commitment to funding research into the condition. The charity’s call comes amid speculation that the Great Repeal Bill – aimed at ensuring EU law will no longer apply in the UK after Brexit – could see other issues fall from the political agenda.
In the run-up to the election, a commitment to invest in dementia research was included in the Conservative Party manifesto, although the document did not detail what level of funding could be expected, or how this commitment would be maintained beyond the 2020 Challenge on Dementia. With uncertainty around the detail of the new government’s planned programme of work, Alzheimer’s Research UK is urging the Prime Minister to ensure that a focus on dementia research will form part of the plans for this parliament.
Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy and Strategy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“The Conservatives’ manifesto ahead of the election included a commitment to invest in dementia research, and the new government must make good on this promise. We’ve seen the start of real political action against dementia in recent years, but dementia research is still playing catch-up compared to other serious conditions and we cannot afford to lose momentum now. It’s clear that preparations for our exit from the EU will dominate this parliament, but it’s absolutely vital that dementia should not slip from the agenda as a result.
“Already 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, and with this number set to increase, research offers our best hope for tackling this devastating condition. We recognise that there will be many issues on the agenda for the new government, but research has to remain a priority if we are serious about reducing dementia’s impact, both on those affected by the condition and on the UK economy. The government must confirm its commitment to investing in dementia research, and set out its detailed plans for a long-term strategy to defeat the condition.”