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Prime Minister launches ‘Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission’

Earlier this week Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched a national mission to tackle dementia by doubling research funding to £160 million a year by 2024.

An additional £95 million in ringfenced funding will support the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission in memory of the late actress. This comes after her husband, Scott Mitchell, met with the Prime Minister to discuss the suffering caused by dementia and the slow process of finding treatment and cures.

Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, said “Anyone who lives with dementia, or has a loved one affected, knows the devastating impact this condition can have on their daily lives, but for too long our understanding of its causes have not been fully understood.”

One million people are expected to be living with dementia by 2025 and 1.6 million by 2024. Up to 40% of dementia cases are potentially preventable but the causes are still poorly understood.

The mission will be driven by a new task force, bringing together industry, the NHS, academia and families living with dementia. By speeding up the clinical trial process, more hypotheses and potential treatments can be tested for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Building on recent advances in biological and data sciences, including genomics, AI and the latest brain imaging technology, to test new treatments from a growing range of possible options. Researchers will look for signals of risk factors, which could help those who are at risk from developing dementia to understand how they might be able to slow or prevent the disease in the future.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said “We’re delighted the Government has recommitted to doubling dementia research funding, and that our call for a Dementia Medicines Taskforce to speed up the development of new treatments has been heard. This marks an important step towards finding life-changing treatments for dementia and supporting our NHS to be able to deliver these new medicines to the people who need them when they become available.”

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