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Leaders unite to promote dementia recognition

19th March 2007

Prominent members of the worlds of politics, arts, business and science came together last week to support a landmark programme highlighting the rights of dementia sufferers and their carers.

The programme was launched at the House of Lords and hosted by Lord Morris, Britain's first minister for the disabled.

Other patrons and supporters present included Dame Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Britt Ekland and a host of researchers who have paved the way to improvements in dementia treatment and care.

Dame Judi Dench said: "Dementia is an appalling condition that affects not just the person diagnosed, but everyone around them.

"I began to understand the devastating impact Alzheimer's has while playing the role of Iris Murdoch. No one should have to face dementia alone and the Alzheimer's Society is here to make sure they don't."

Professor David Brooks, a neurologist, said: "The resources and time spent on dementia are not proportionate to the numbers of people affected.

"The Alzheimer's Society plays an important role not just in educating people, but in raising awareness about the importance of research into the potential scientific breakthroughs."

Dementia costs the UK around £17 billion each year, according to the Alzheimer's Society. This highlights the need for a government strategy to deal with dementia, as the number of sufferers is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years.

It is hoped that the involvement of celebrities and other influential groups will promote the cause and bring about improvements in care provision and access to medicines.