Leading nations have committed to developing a cure or treatment for dementia by 2025 at the G8 dementia summit.
Health ministers meeting in London said it was a “big ambition” and that they would significantly increase funding for research to meet that goal.
The UK has already said it aims to double its annual research funding to £132m by 2025.
The global number of dementia sufferers is expected to treble to 135m by 2050.
The G8 said it would “develop a co-ordinated international research action plan” to target the gaps in research and ways to address them.
Dementia is heading towards being the biggest health and care problem of a generation so you’d think it would have the funding to match. Yet it really is the poor relation of other diseases.
In the UK, about £590m is spent on cancer research with £267 coming from government. At the moment £52m of government money goes to dementia research.
It’s a pattern reflected around the world.
Part of the problem is that until recently dementia was considered a “normal part of ageing” whereas cancer has been documented as far back as ancient Egypt.
It means dementia research is starting from a low base.
The UK is aiming to double its spend, but this will still leave dementia significantly behind.
The Alzheimer’s Society says it expects more.