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Dementia patients 'to double in a generation'

Dementia patients 'to double in a generation'
18th June 2008

Scientists have warned that the number of dementia patients in the UK is set to double within a generation, adding more pressure on the NHS.

According to a Daily Mail report, health experts have stated that more must be done to find new methods of prevention and treatment for the neurological condition or the NHS will become "unsustainable".

In an open letter to health secretary Alan Johnson, a group of medical professionals, headed by Professor Simon Lovestone of King's College, London, stated: "The government must greatly increase dementia research funding now, or the NHS won't survive the next 20 years."

They added that just three per cent of the Department of Health's research budget is spent on dementia-related studies.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, professor Roy Wellor, another scientist who contributed to the letter, said he hoped the action would be a "wakeup call" to the government and scientific community.

He added that there is currently no national strategy for basic research into the causes of dementia and how it can be prevented.

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