Ahead of the parkrun NHS70 day on Saturday, we want to join you in saying a huge thank you to the service’s extraordinary staff.
So many doctors and nurses are doing amazing work diagnosing and looking after people with dementia.
Dementia is one of the biggest healthcare challenges in the UK and across the world, so it is a key priority for the NHS.
There are 850,000 people in the UK with dementia and the condition is estimated to cost the NHS £4.3bn a year. The cost is likely to grow as more people are affected by the condition – it is estimated dementia will affect over one million people in the UK by 2025.
The NHS plays a key role in dementia research. Funding for dementia research has lagged behind research in other serious conditions – there is approximately one dementia researcher for every four cancer researchers. However, the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2020, which was launched in 2015, sets out the aim to make the country the best place in the world to undertake research into dementia.
Government funding for dementia research in 2016/17 was £83.1m of which £44.6m was provided by the National Institute of Health Research – the research arm of the NHS.
It will be through a combination of the efforts of Government, industry and charities like Alzheimer’s Research UK that vital new treatments for dementia will be brought about.
A key part of our role is to work with the NHS to ensure any new innovations in diagnosis or new treatments are brought to patients as soon as possible. For example, earlier this year we published our Thinking Differently report which analysed how future dementia treatments would cause significant financial and practical challenges to the health system. We believe that if we work together these challenges can be overcome, which is why we’ve set up the Dementia Access Taskforce to pave the way for future treatments.
One direct way we partner with the NHS is the Join Dementia Research initiative.
JDR is a national service that allows you to register your interest in taking part in dementia research studies across the UK. It is run by the NIHR in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK and other charities.
So far around 35,000 people have signed up, including more than 170 parkrunners, and they have got involved in more than 300 studies.
You don’t have to have dementia to take part. For more information go to www.joindementiaresearch.nihr.ac.uk
Meanwhile, we will have a stand at The Alzheimer’s Show at London Olympia on Friday and Saturday where you can find out more about us and the groundbreaking work we do.
For full details about The Alzheimer’s Show and to book your tickets visit http://alzheimersshow.co.uk. Alzheimer’s Research UK supporters receive a 50% discount with code ‘ARUK18’.
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