The Bupa Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Society have launched a groundbreaking partnership to boost research into dementia and its causes. The two charities are together launching a £1.5million fund to support research into an issue that is affecting more and more people in the UK and internationally.
Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen of the Bupa Foundation says, "Dementia is a cruel condition which robs people of their memories, and in future more and more people will be living with the condition or be affected by it. £1.5m will make a real difference and help advance our knowledge of dementia.”
The new fund aims to encourage partnership and collaboration between institutions to maximize expert involvement and to share knowledge and best practice. Researchers can apply for grants ranging from £100,000 to £750,000 and the fund is also open to applications from researchers in Australia, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Spain and Thailand, as well as the UK.
Neil Hunt of the Alzheimer’s Society adds, "Dementia research is seriously under-funded. Much more needs to be invested if we are to see the same advancements in dementia care and treatment as we have seen for cancer. By delaying the onset of dementia by just five years we could halve the number of deaths from the condition, saving 30,000 lives a year, but without progress in research the economic cost of the disease is likely to rise to £27 billion by 2018.”
This research fund between Alzheimer’s Society and the Bupa Foundation charity coincides with a series of joint initiatives involving Alzheimer’s Society and Bupa. Alzheimer’s Society has been named the nominated charity for the Bupa Great Runs series – which includes the world’s largest half marathon, the Bupa Great North Run. Alzheimer’s Society and Bupa have also worked together to create the pioneering Dementia Champions programme for Bupa’s specialist dementia care homes.
One in three people over 65 will die with dementia. Alzheimer’s Society research shows that 700,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia, more than half have Alzheimer’s disease. In less than 20 years nearly a million people will be living with dementia. This will soar to 1.7 million people by 2051.