Government pumps additional £95m into dementia research

In a long-delayed announcement, the government has met its pledge to double dementia research funding to £160 million a year by 2024.

Fulfilling the “Dementia Moonshot” promise made in the 2019 election manifesto, PM Boris Johnson said that £95 million would also be ring-fenced for a dementia taskforce along the lines of the UK Vaccines Taskforce set up during the pandemic.

Describing the initiative as a “national dementia mission,” Johnson launched it in memory of actor Dame Barbara Windsor, who died with dementia, and said it would help the government achieve its target of doubling research funding by 2024.

A “taskforce lead” will be appointed as part of the initiative and the role is designed to encourage action on dementia while ensuring effective use of the additional funding.

Health secretary Steve Barclay said the initiative was intended to harness the same spirit of innovation as produced the Covid vaccine and would help deliver early diagnosis, enhanced treatments and a better quality of life for people with dementia.