Dementia research funding guaranteed: Phil Hope

Funding for some areas of dementia research is to be guaranteed, care services minister Phil Hope announced last week.

At present all applications for government medical research funding for all conditions must compete for resources. However, following the announcement, the ministerial group for dementia research plans to identify areas of greatest importance in dementia and ask scientists to put forward proposals for funding from a guaranteed pot.

Hope made the announcement in a written statement to an Alzheimer’s Research Trust conference, saying the so-called “themed call for dementia research” would be an “important statement of our intent”.

The amount of money set aside will depend on areas identified. A decision on this will not be made until the ministerial group reconvenes in September.

Andrew Scheuber, spokesperson for Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said the charity looked forward to trying to raise the quality of research. He added: “Government and charitable spending on dementia research is 12 times lower than that for cancer research. We still have a long way to go if we are serious about defeating dementia.”

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