Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Research UK
This World Alzheimer’s Day, over half a million people in the UK are living with the disease. With continued support, research can transform lives.
Last year Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia emerged as the UK’s leading cause of death. With no treatments to stop or cure them, these are diseases that sadly, no one has yet survived.
1/5 adults believe dementia is a normal part of ageing and it’s a common belief that nothing can be done.
We firmly believe that research can and will change that. In recent years we’ve welcomed greater efforts from government, industry and charity to prioritise the condition.
But our recent polling shows that one in five UK adults still believe dementia is a normal part of ageing and there remains a common belief that nothing can be done to change the outlook for those affected. We must continue to shine a spotlight on Alzheimer’s and other dementias, to provide hope and empowerment through research for those affected today, and to deliver advances for people affected by dementia in future.
Today, Alzheimer’s Research UK has launched our Make Breakthroughs Possible campaign as a rallying cry for change. A call for everyone to take action and bring forward the day when Alzheimer’s and other dementias no longer cast a shadow over so many lives.
“The UK must remain leaders in dementia research”
Research has already helped millions of people recover from cancer, overcome heart disease, and lead long and healthy lives in the face of HIV. We can make the same progress for people with dementia too.
But medical breakthroughs don’t just happen by themselves. People are making them possible.
It’s not just scientists who have a role to play. Government must ensure the UK remains a leading location for cutting-edge science and the pharmaceutical industry must continue to invest in this important area of research. We also need people with and without dementia to take part in pioneering research studies, including vital clinical trials.
“You could help research by taking part in a clinical trial”
Clinical trials are key for bringing about the treatments that will transform people’s lives and these studies would be impossible without the volunteers who put themselves forward for this type of research.
Dementia is now our greatest medical challenge but by supporting research, we can all help to make breakthroughs possible.