Phil Hope to lead push to increase dementia research

Care services minister Phil Hope is to chair a new ministerial group designed to increase the volume, quality and impact of dementia research.

The group has been established on the back of a summit of experts held in July to tackle the historic lack of focus on research into dementia, compared with conditions such as cancer.

The ministerial group will aim to help researchers make better use of existing funding opportunities, increase public support for dementia research, give people with dementia better access to clinical trials and ensure research translates into better treatment.

The summit, organised by the Department of Health, identified a number of barriers to dementia research, including regulations and bureaucracy and a lack of public and NHS support for brain donation.

The Alzheimer’s Society, which has long campaigned for increased funding for dementia research, described the establishment of the ministerial group as a “significant development in the fight against dementia”.

Chief executive Neil Hunt said: “The announcement is recognition of the need for a clear plan to drive forward and lead dementia research.”

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