Friday, 21 December 2012

More money for reseach

Government Pumps £22m into Dementia Research


Boost for getting promising ways of detecting, treating and even possible cures out of the labs and into the mainstream announced.
[UK / Implementations] - Determined to make the UK a global leader in dementia research, the Coalition has found an extra £22m to help develop possible medical responses to the chronic condition.
Some 21 projects – which cover, in the words of the Department of Health, “all areas of scientific activity relevant to dementia, across the fields of care, cure and cause, including prevention” – have been awarded the extra funding. The money is being doled out by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR).
Examples of projects covered by the grant include trialling the use of a blood pressure drug called Losartan to complement current treatments for Alzheimer′s. This is in addition to the UK′s first ever trial measuring how much longer people with dementia can live safely and independently in their own homes, if provided with a specialised telecare technology package including motion sensors, GPS trackers, and personal alarms.
Another is a trial to produce a comprehensive toolkit for GPs to make identifying the signs of the disease easier and improve diagnosis rates.
Welcoming the announcement, Alzheimer′s Society Chief Executive Jeremy Hughes pointed out that, “As it stands, there are currently more clinical trials into hay fever than there are into some of the most common forms of dementia.
“Dementia is the greatest health and social care challenge of our time and defeating it needs to be a priority for society,” he added.
Announcing the funding, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said, “The UK is home to some of the world′s best dementia researchers and specialist research facilities, and this Government is committed to supporting them.
“To make a real difference to research, Government must respond to the barriers the industry faces. It is vital that we can translate the excellent work happening in our laboratories across the country into treatments that can help people live well with dementia today, whilst ultimately working towards finding a cure.”
Hunt made his remarks while visiting Eli Lilly′s UK dementia research centre.
Government figures suggest 670,000 people in England are currently diagnosed with the dementia, a figure it says is set to double in the next 30 years, creating “one of the biggest challenges faced by the UK in recent times.”
The news complements the publication last month of the Department′s first Progress Report on the Prime Minister′s Challenge on Dementia, which had been launched in March 2012.
Some of the achievements highlighted in that Report included a £50m fund to create specially adapted wards and care home spaces to improve the experience of people with dementia.

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