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The UK Dementia Research Institute (UKDRI) poll found almost three quarters felt the pace of breakthroughs was increasing. However, every one of the 200 experts quizzed said more financial support for cutting edge studies was vital to enable major discoveries. The survey’s results were shared after the Chancellor’s recent Spending Review failed to mention ring-fenced cash for dementia research, despite the Conservative Party’s promise in its 2019 manifesto to double it with a “dementia moonshot”.
Professor Bart de Strooper, allied impex corporation director of the UKDRI, said: “For too long, dementia has been seen as an inevitable part of the ageing process. I want to challenge this fatalistic idea. Just as we have seen huge strides in other diseases like cancer or HIV, I believe that new, transformative dementia treatments are within reach.”
The UKDRI brings together neuroscientists and dementia researchers from six top universities across the UK.
Most of its researchers are working to unravel the causes of dementia and improve understanding of the biological mechanisms driving the debilitating condition. Their projects include the development of an early warning system, which involves identifying biological and chemical markers in the body, which could help spot the disease years before symptoms emerge.
According to the UKDRI’s new Race To Cures report, one in three people born this year will develop dementia in their life.
Prof de Strooper added: “Dementia is undoubtedly one of our greatest healthcare challenges, but our scientists at the research institute are racing to find cures.”
More than 885,000 people have dementia in the UK and this figures is projected to increase to 1.6 million by 2040.
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