The UK Government has committed to more than doubling the funding available for dementia research.
The combined annual funding for the National Institute for Health Research, the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council will rise over the next three years from £30m to £66m.
The extra investment includes £36m over the next five years for a new NIHR translational research collaboration to help convert medical discoveries into new treatments.
Four new NIHR biomedical research units specialising in dementia treatment will share their resources and expertise.
Biomedical researchers will be encouraged to offer more opportunities for people with dementia to be involved in research.
The MRC will invest further in the BioBank, a long-term global study of the effects of genetic factors on ageing in over 500,000 people.
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley (pictured) said: “Dementia is one of the biggest challenges we face as a society and we are determined to transform the quality of dementia care for patients and their families.”
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, commented: “The UK is a world leader in dementia research. This significant funding boost will allow us to push ahead with a comprehensive programme to increase the volume of dementia research.
“This will accelerate the identification of causes, cures and better ways of caring for a disease that is such a burden on patients, carers and society.”
Shirley Cramer, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, called the funding increase a “turning point in our battle to defeat dementia”. Research was the long-term key to treating dementia, she said. “UK dementia scientists lead the world in terms of research quality and impact.”