More money will be spent on dementia in the next decade

More money will be spent on dementia in the next decade

This week it was announced that there will be £100 million spent on dementia research in the next decade.

This sustained commitment and long-term thinking will help change the face of dementia research and Alzheimer’s Society is calling on governments and others to follow suit.

Dementia is our biggest health and social care challenge. Affecting millions globally, it has overtaken cancer to become the most feared condition amongst over 55 year olds. New statistics published last week revealed a sharp rise in the number of people living with dementia globally – 44 million people now have dementia worldwide, with the total set to soar to 76 million by 2030.

This additional research funding will be used to drive forward research into the prevention and cure of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, but also into the best form of treatment and support for those facing the daily challenges of living with dementia today.

Jeremy Hughes, who made the pledge at the G8 dementia summit and Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Society, said: ‘For the past forty years Alzheimer’s Society has led the fight against dementia. We are pushing the boundaries to bring life-changing research to prevent, care and ultimately cure dementia closer to people with the condition, but we can’t do this alone. We urge governments and organisations worldwide to collaborate, think long-term and make meaningful promises to combat dementia now.’

The Society will continue to work closely with people living with dementia and their carers to inform and support the work of their researchers.

The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) welcomes the announcement of the money that will be poured into the research.

Greg Small, Operations Manager for REPs, says: “While it’s obviously upsetting there are so many dementia and related conditions needing this funding, the investment is a welcome boost that can positively affect the lives of those people suffering from these conditions. Dementia issues already cost the NHS £5 billion each year – yet data shows that physical activity can drastically reduce the risk of major illnesses.”

A study published this week in the journal PLOS One found that people who consistently followed four or five key behaviours experienced a 60% decline in dementia and cognitive decline, with exercise being the strongest mitigating factor. The other four behaviours were low bodyweight, a healthy diet, low alcohol intake, and not smoking.

Greg Small, who is also a REPs registered instructor, continues: “The increased funding should enable health clubs and leisure facilities to ensure people can get bespoke, professional training – enabling those people who need it the most to access appropriate fitness training from qualified professionals. REPs fitness professionals are fully qualified to provide the best possible encouragement and motivation, and ensuring correct exercise habits.”

According to the National Health Services, mental illness accounts for a third of all illnesses and, at any given time, one person in six experiences anxiety or depression. It is estimated that 25% of the UK population will experience at least one mental health condition at some point in their life.

Greg Small says, “Our REPs Level 4 professionals are trained to offer the best advice in the case of mental health and long-term neurological conditions. Consumers can be reassured that REPs professionals have the necessary skills, representing current best clinical practice.”

Fitness professionals registering with REPs must hold a recognised qualification from an approved training provider. Members are acknowledged for their professionalism, adherence to the industry’s nationally recognised standard and ongoing education.

Greg Small concludes, “Our aim is to help everyone in the UK to get more active, and fitter. Through the combination of this additional funding, medical intervention and physical activities, we can all work together towards relieving families and society of the awful impact of dementia and its related conditions. If spent well, this investment will ensure patients and clients will receive the best possible treatment from those professionals qualified to do so.”

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