£300,000 dementia research welcomed in Hartlepool

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A GOVERNMENT pledge to spend £300m towards research into debilitating dementia was today welcomed by a Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice Bureau boss.

Prime Minister David Cameron said an international dementia institute would be established in England over the next five years in a bid to make the UK a world leader for research and medical trials.

More than one million NHS workers will also receive additional training in how to care for people with dementia under the new plans.

It is estimated that more than 1,200 people living in Hartlepool suffer from the degenerative brain disease, while experts suggest that there are 850,000 people living with the condition nationally.

The number is expected to hit a million within the next decade.

Manager at Hartlepool Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB), Joe Michna, told the Mail: “This is an issue that as an organisation we are very much aware of.

“Clearly more support and research is needed into dementia from the day-to-day experience we have with the number of people we see who are suffering from it and their families and carers. From a Citizens’ Advice Bureau point of view we can only welcome this investment.”

The Government have also said a separate multi-million pound fund would be launched within weeks to help establish an international investment scheme to discover new drugs and treatments that could slow the onset of dementia, or even deliver a cure, by 2025.

It hopes the global fund will bring together investment from the private, public and philanthropic sectors under a single scheme to pay for research projects into the disease.

Faster assessments by GPs are also included in the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020 plans.

Mr Cameron first launched the dementia challenge for England in March 2012, building on the previous Government’s national dementia strategy.

Professor Simon Lovestone, from Oxford University, said recent trials for new drugs to combat the brain disease had failed. “We now need to do better clinical trials, we need to do them earlier in the disease process, and for that we need tests for early diagnosis and we need better drugs,” he said.