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Government announces boost for dementia research

Researchers in the field of dementia have been asked to come forward and take more advantage of the Government’s research budget in a bid to better understand the disease and help sufferers and their families.


From this March, dementia research will be prioritised and researchers will be encouraged to put in high quality bids for funding so their proposals meet the criteria set for Government funded research.

Addressing more than 350 researchers and professionals, Care Services Minister Paul Burstow will today set out how the National Institute for Health Research - one of the Government’s main research bodies - will invite proposals for high quality research on dementia across the fields of care, cure and cause, including prevention.

As a result of the recent Spending Review, the Department of Health’s spending on health research will increase in real terms. The National Institute for Health Research’s call should help significantly to increase the amount of high quality dementia research being funded by the Government.

[quote top=Care Services Minister, Paul Burstow said] Dementia is one of the biggest challenges our society faces. As our population ages we need to better understand the disease if we are to counter its effects more successfully. Research is the key to developing new treatments, transforming care and ultimately to finding a cure for this devastating disease. [/quote] 
He continued to comment: “The Department of Health’s research budget is nearly a billion this year – I want more of that funding to be supporting dementia research. But we can only do that if the number and quality of the research proposals are of the right standard to justify the investment. To help dementia sufferers and their families to benefit, we will help researchers to submit high quality proposals which advance our understanding of care, cure and cause.”

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Director General of Research and Development, said “I want more researchers in the field of dementia research to access funding so they can make a difference to the lives of the millions of people who are touched by dementia. Today is an opportunity for those in the field to hear about the opportunities available and access expert support to help them put together proposals which will pass the independent appraisal process. By providing this support I hope to see some exciting, high-quality proposals coming through.”

This is the first action to come out of the Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research being led by the Care Services Minister. The group is working on practical actions to improve the volume, quality and impact of dementia research.

Today’s event is an opportunity for the Ministerial Advisory Group on Dementia Research to discuss its ongoing work with those working in the field and gain feedback before the group makes its final report.

The work of the Ministerial group covers the following issues:
• increasing the volume of dementia research within available funding
• raising public engagement in dementia research
• developing better ways of working within the research community
• reaching agreement on the main priorities for research; and
• improving the translation of research into treatment and care.