Early onset dementia detailed by NHS expert
A clarion call to speed up finding a cure for dementia has been backed by Hollywood legend Brian Cox.
The Golden Globe-winning star of media drama Succession has been directly affected by the disease.
He said: “It robbed me of my brother and my brother-in-law.
“I was forced to watch as their lives ended in one of the worst possible ways, knowing nothing could be done to save them.”
Alzheimer’s Research UK has begun a bold 10-year project to accelerate the search for a cure, backed by Dundee-born actor Brian.
Goals of the charity’s “strategy to 2033” include having the first drug able to slow the condition available on the NHS within three years.
One in two people will be affected by dementia: developing it, caring for someone living with it – or both.
Brian, 76, an ambassador for ARUK, continued: “No family should ever have to go through this, but as the new figures have revealed, many more will unless things drastically change.”
He added: “We all have a part to play in conquering the enormous challenge of dementia and we must speed up research efforts to save people from the heartbreak of this condition sooner.”
Analysis commissioned by ARUK and carried out by Office of Health Economics consultants found that 55 per cent of people in the
UK will have dementia, will become an informal carer or will experience both.
It also indicated that 1.2 million people will have the condition by 2040 – an increase of 30 per cent on the toll today.
ARUK’s plan sets out steps towards a future in which people are diagnosed earlier and can access life-changing new treatments.
It also considers how the condition can be prevented through better understanding of risk factors and how people might maintain their brain health.
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Hilary Evans, the research charity’s chief executive, said: “If nothing changes, one in two of us will be directly affected by dementia.
“Breakthroughs like the Alzheimer’s drugs lecanemab and donanemab have put us on the path for a cure, but this is only just
the start. We need to deliver life-changing treatments for people with every form of dementia, revolutionise how it’s diagnosed and find ways to prevent it altogether.”
Professor Jonathan Schott, ARUK’s chief medical officer, said: “There are more than 140 dementia drugs in various stages of clinical development right now.
“The exciting results of the lecanemab and donanemab trials represent the beginning of what we hope will be a steady stream of successes in years to come.
“For the first time in decades, it feels like there is real hope.”
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