Public backs charities’ call to up dementia research spending

Two-thirds of people in the UK think that the government should put more money into dementia research despite budgets being put under strain by the recession, a new poll has revealed.

The online survey, which was commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Research Trust and the Alzheimer’s Society, found that 66% of respondents agreed that research funding should be increased, despite being asked explicitly to take the current economic climate into account. Just two per cent thought funding should be cut.

However, respondents were also told that the UK government invests eight times less in dementia than cancer research, and that without progress in research the current economic cost of the disease – £17bn a year – was likely to triple within a generation.

‘Historical lack of investment’

The findings will be used to highlight a “historical lack of investment” in dementia research at the forthcoming political party conferences in the autumn.

Chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society Neil Hunt said: “This poll shows the call for more investment into dementia research comes not just from the dementia charities but also from the public.

“Much more needs to be invested in dementia research if we are to see the same advancements in dementia care and treatment as we have seen for cancer.

“By developing treatments that could delay the onset of dementia by five years we could halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year.”

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