The Largest Alzheimer’s Prevention Organisations in the West Join Forces Create Fund to Beat Alzheimer’s by 2025
Three major research funding organisations are collaborating in working towards finding a cure for dementia within the next ten years. The move has been announced in response to the commitment given by the G7 health leaders in December 2013 to significantly increase dementia research funding.
Alzheimer’s Research UK has teamed up with the Alzheimer’s Association of America and the Weston Brain Institute in Canada to launch an international initiative known as Mechanisms of Cellular Death in NeuroDegeneration (MEND). There is a funding pool of £820,000 to be used for research into diseases of the brain that cause Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Experts from all over the world will be invited to apply for funding and to collaborate on projects, sharing resources and knowledge so that progress can be accelerated. Fundamental questions regarding the differences and similarities between the various diseases will be investigated, and it is hoped that cures will be found by 2025.
Dr Eric Karran, the Director of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, has said that dementia is a global problem and solutions will need global collaboration. He added that Alzheimer’s Research UK was delighted to join forces with the other organisations and that although we understand more about the diseases causing dementia than ever before, there are more questions to be answered. The Chief Science Officer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Maria Carrillo, has said that the work will improve and accelerate the chances of identifying ways of preserving brain health. The chairman of the Weston Brain Institute stated that they were pleased to work with the other organisations to accelerate the research.
The Impact of Dementia
Throughout the world, 44 million people live with dementia, and it is expected that that number will have almost doubled by 2030. It is estimated that in Britain alone more than two million people will have dementia by 2050, and it has overtaken cancer as our major health concern. Nearly 50% of people over the age of 55 admit that they are frightened of developing dementia, compared with 28% who are afraid of cancer and 9% worried about having a stroke. This is unsurprising because so many people now have friends, relatives or neighbours who suffer from dementia. Whilst there are cures for some diseases, there is not yet any known cure for dementia.
One aspect of the proposed research concentrates on new drugs called MK-8931 and Solanezumab. Scientists hope that within two years they could be closer to a disease-modifying therapy when the results of the third phase of the drug trials are available.
Dementia costs the economy an increasing amount of money, and it is crucial that a solution is identified before the costs become unsustainable and the healthcare system can no longer cope with the problem.