Dementia research should be treated as a "special case" in the face of possible public spending cuts, according a patron of the Alzheimer's Research Trust (ART).
Speaking to the ART's annual conference, Baroness Margaret Jay said a history of poor funding for dementia research contributed to her mother dying with a form of dementia that was never officially diagnosed.
Baroness Jay said that even in the current economic climate, dementia research must be made a "special case" to ensure adequate funding.
"Our ageing population is bringing about rapidly increasing levels of dementia [and] we simply cannot afford not to invest in research to provide proper diagnosis and better treatment," Baroness Jay said.
Reacting to Baroness Jay's comments, Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the ART, said that the charity was lucky to have a patron such as Baroness Jay who could raise the public profile of dementia research.
"The longer we bury our heads in the sand in the face of our dementia crisis, the more ground we lose to it," added Ms Wood.
Earlier this week, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Dementia called for tighter regulation the national dementia strategy implementation and spending.
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