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Should dementia research receive more funding?

Dementia costs the UK economy twice as much as cancer but gets a fraction of the funding to find cures, claims a report by the Alzheimer's Research Trust. How should dementia be tackled?

According to the report, dementia research received 1/12th of the funds which go on investigating cancer, despite the fact that the illness costs the UK £23bn annually.

Bridging this gap is urgent, the report says, particularly given that the number of sufferers stands at 821,884, 15% higher than previously thought, and is set to pass the one million mark before 2025.

Have you been affected by dementia? Does more need to be done to fund research into causes and cures? Is enough being done to provide treatment for dementia sufferers? Do you have a question about dementia care or research?

Dementia 'losing out' to cancer in funding stakes

Dementia 2010 report from Alzheimer's Research Trust

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Published: Wednesday, 3 February, 2010, 09:02 GMT 09:02 UK

All comments as they come in

Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:59 GMT 11:59 UK

It is an insult to the British public that the government isnt tackling this severe problem. Tax payers money is wasted on illegal wars whilst those suffereing from dementia are left to die without their dignity!

Stewart, London

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:56 GMT 11:56 UK

My family is affected because my mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimers/Vascular Dementia.

I live in an area of the country where there is little in the way of services for sufferers and very little in the way of transport. Dementia Specific Day care is 35 miles away and service users are taken by bus to the Day Care.

Social Services are legally responsible for providing services and i believe they are failing to provide services. I suspect this is the case across the country.

Ann Leask, Brackley

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:54 GMT 11:54 UK

This timebomb must be tackled. It is probably the biggest cause of distress in the UK as it affects such a wide circle of people in addition to the sufferer.

Rosemary Marshall, Chichester

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:52 GMT 11:52 UK

My father has had alzheimers for 8 years and so far, my elderly parent has recived very little help from the state. As a family, we expect to support the elderly in our family. But is is very upsetting to watch television programmes showing drug and drink induced injuries being treated when they could be avoided. Of course everyone deserves the best care from The N.H.S, but it is a limited resource. Surely it is time to consider our priorities and give more help to the people who built and taxes

Tom davies, Epping

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:50 GMT 11:50 UK

my mother died suffering from dementia, and I think it's vital to give more funding to research into causes and prevention.

Ann Firth

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:48 GMT 11:48 UK

Does more need to be done to fund research into causes and cures?

Yes. I suggest they redirect the funds allocated to the ill-conceived DNA database and ID cards schemes into dementia research and treatment.

Help the public instead of suppressing them and treating them like criminals.

[HughDP], Taunton, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:21 GMT 11:21 UK

Many diseases do not get enough funding, including dementia. They cost more than we have to fund them so it's sickening that billions is found to wage wars, over and above budgets set for military purposes. OK if protecting troops but they need not be at war dying for doubtful causes. Knocking capitalism always gets you labelled as a commi or extremist yet capitalism which puts millions into any individual's pocket has to be wrong When is enough, enough for any one person when others suffer

Kevin, London

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:14 GMT 11:14 UK

My Wife's aunt had dementia and I thought myself and so did my wife that it is worse for loved ones than the sufferer. The nurse at the care home that she ended her life in, said, "They seem to revert to childhood and are not even aware that they are being looked after or even cared for. Which is worse, an active mind inside a broken down body or a functrioning body with the mind of a child?" She was well looked after too. Food for thought!

[shortyandthefuzz], southampton, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:13 GMT 11:13 UK

The sufferers of Dementia are often ignored and treated very badly even by Social Services.It is also a tremendous stress on dementia carers.People who suffer from this condition can be very demanding and abusive through frustration but not spite.As a carer who called on many such sufferers I saw carers almost driven to suicide and there was little or no help available. Any extra funding must be welcomed but like everything else these days to do with care-politicians say alot but do little.

Winston Smith, Ipswich, United Kingdom

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:08 GMT 11:08 UK

It's terrible to live with dementia but it's not the only disease that is a death sentence. There are many more existing diseases that need care as well. Why should dementia has the priority?

Sherwin Lo, Georgia, United States

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:04 GMT 11:04 UK

I don't think it's particularly helpful to compare it to cancer, which affects more people directly. It shouldn't be a question of bridging a 'gap' between different illnesses, but rightly focussing on the fact that the existing funding for dementia is woefully insufficient, and that we have an aging population (not that it just affects the elderly, of course).

The areas of dementia care and mental health provision are the weakest in the NHS and need urgent government attention.

Alex, London

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:01 GMT 11:01 UK

Definitly yes! This is a time bomb ticking away. Not only the care costs and personal costs to families and carers it is the loss of all the sufferer's experience and usefulness to family and society.
I dislike the EU but, since we're in it ,lets pool our recourses and throw lots of the money currently being wasted or fiddled in the EU at Demetia research

Peter Fryett, Torquay

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 11:01 GMT 11:01 UK

Dementia research should be at the forfront of funding given the potential devastaing impact it will have over on people lives and the economy the next 50 years. There is little point in finding cures for any human ailment if the outcome is to drive older people onto dementia road which is, as it stands today, a one way street to oblivion and a horrible cruel death.

Colin Kirby, Liverpool

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 10:57 GMT 10:57 UK

"I may get hated for this, but, we have to start looking after our own people before looking after other countries"

Not hated, just saddened at the thought that other people don't matter, but as a minority myself, and one who is very well looked after in my adoptive country, I may be forgiven for having a wider viewpoint.

Raymond Hopkins, Kronoby, Finland

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Added: Thursday, 4 February, 2010, 10:56 GMT 10:56 UK

when are we going to take care of our elderly in the manner they deserve??? we save the world-yet our elderly are not given the care that most people give their animals---------where would we be? if it were not for the elder generation??? they are left to sit around in inadequate care homes -did you not see the programme about the appalling conditions we have in our care homes---JUST WHEN ARE YOU THE GOVERNMENT--GOING TO GIVE THE ELDERLY SOME RESPECT AND DIGNITY----WHERE ARE THE INSPECTORS????

mk

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DEBATE STATUS

Total comments:
798
Published comments:
694
Rejected comments:
92
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