Alzheimer’s Research UK expresses concern as dementia becomes the leading killer

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With new data revealing alarming mortality rates associated with dementia in the United Kingdom, the leading charity Alzheimer’s Research UK has called for prompt action to increase the funding for dementia research.

When the 2016 data for England, Wales and Scotland were combined with the latest mortality estimates released by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) along with dementia was found to be leading cause of death in the United Kingdom, with 70,366 deaths compared to 66,076 deaths resulting from heart disease. In 2015, dementia was slightly behind heart disease in terms of mortality (69,182 vs 69,785, respectively).

Stressing the dearth of research on dementia, the charity says there is only 1 dementia researcher for every 4 cancer researchers. Although the funding for dementia research has witnessed a growth in recent years, it is still not enough. Alzheimer’s Research UK has urged the government to increase the annual funding to £132 million over the next 5 y. Other bodies such as Alzheimer’s Research UK Drug Discovery Alliance and the UK Dementia Research Institute are also striving for the cause of dementia research.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK, commented: "Further investment and collaboration from charity and industry will ensure that the pace of breakthroughs in research can match the growing devastation that dementia brings."