In the news: Our recent letter to the editor of The Times

Hilary Evans

Yesterday, we read with empathic frustration the observation on dementia research progress at the end of The Times’ comment on research into hearing aids (Delaying Dementia, 16 July). It reads:

“More research into such treatments is desperately needed, particularly given the failure of biomedical research to make progress despite many billions of investment towards finding a cure. None of the drugs tried so far has worked. This year the fight against Alzheimer’s suffered yet another setback when the US drug company Biogen and its Japanese partner, Eisai, dropped trials on a much-hyped treatment for the disease. As things stand, only 5 per cent of dementia research worldwide focuses on care. Even a small rebalancing could make a big difference.”

In our response published today, we called for an increase in research funding for dementia in line with other serious diseases to see similar benefits in both care and treatment.

We need better treatments and more breakthroughs

Unfortunately, it has been 17 years since the last new drug for dementia was made available. We agree that people with dementia deserve more breakthroughs and better treatments.

We know that every drug trial that does not result in a viable treatment provides valuable learnings for future research.

However, it’s important to note that dementia research is not yet receiving the financial support needed to bring about life-changing treatments. Current funding levels do not account for the urgency required given the scale of the problem.

Increased research brings benefits for patients

This year, Alzheimer’s Research UK committed to spend a landmark £250m in dementia research over the next five years thanks to our incredible supporters.

But we know more support is needed.

In 2010, the government committed to doubling dementia research funding to £66m a year. In 2015, it committed to spend £300m over five years.

This progress is welcome but falls short when compared with research budgets into other major health conditions, like cancer at £269m in 2015/16. The value of investment is underlined in these other areas through leaps forward in treatment and care.

People living with cancer today are benefiting from long-term and sustained funding, which began to increase in the 1970s. This long-term investment has led to treatment breakthroughs and means more people are now surviving cancer than ever before.

In comparison, it’s not hard to see why no one has ever survived dementia, and why hundreds of thousands of people with dementia across the country are not yet benefitting from better treatments.

Our call to government

Alzheimer’s Research UK is calling on government to improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers by committing to put just 1% of the annual cost of dementia towards research – an investment of £320m a year by 2025.


The next Prime Minister should commit to prioritising dementia research and pledge just 1% to make breakthroughs possible and help to bring an end to this crisis.

Lend your voice

You can help us by taking a few minutes today to send an email to the PM candidates asking for their support for dementia research.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive at Alzheimer’s Research UK



One Response to In the news: Our recent letter to the editor of The Times

  1. Avatar
    Melanie Oliver 24 July 2019 at 8:08 am #

    Not sure if Boris Johnson would be interested in giving more funds for dementia research, but I do know one thing for sure. It is not a question of spending more money. It is a question of asking the right questions. Right now researchers are not seeing the wood for the trees. They focus on “amyloid proteins” and “tau”, now “inflammation” is the new collective buzz word. It appears they are ignoring the clues that people with dementia are giving them. Two physicians ignored my moms blood test results of excess Calcium and Sodium deficiency, which I followed up. There are known deficits of Cholesterol, Acetylcholine, Glutathione and Testosterone in men. My mom no longer gets sugar cravings since we switched from yellow oils and spreads to coconut oil and other natural plant based products like avocado, flaxseed and olive oil. Yet I have realized it is not enough. The brain uses 20% of bodies cholesterol, but only 40% gets through the blood-brain barrier. Cholesterol has a major protective function. I was advising folks to rub coconut oil on the backs, arms and legs to increase absorption, but I am thinking that MCT oil would be a far better bet. Basically, blood tests tell us a lot if you join the dots. Calcium is linked to Acetylcholine production and to B12 and Intrinsic Factor Protein in the gut. My mom can get the Magnesium she needs better transdermally, through foot baths of EPSOM salts, or Magnesium Sulphate. She does not need drugs. She needs her thyroid detoxified of what is most likely Fluoride toxicity and she needs “HOMEOSTASIS” in her body. There is clear “cause” and “effect”. We do not need drugs, we need to find the biochemical imbalances as there are different pathways to dementia and we need to correct them. The reason why drugs do not work is because you cannot fix a problem without detoxing the whole system first. Unless you understand the profound effects of nutrition, you will also not restore balance. As an example. I think I know why more women than men get Alzheimer’s. Men store Zinc in their sperm, prostate and testes, which women do not have. Zinc is involved in insulin production. Everything is about the restoration of natural balance in the body. If you can supplement with the healthy white fats that the brain needs and prevent cortically shrinkage, if you can supplement with the correct nutrition and correct deficits, you can prevent further damage. Researchers now know that brain cell death only happens in the final stages, so I am not giving up, but for me to do more study and research, I would need a GO FUND ME. As a full time carer, I have to hire people to help do what I do. My bottom line is this. Why not offer cash prizes for individuals who can make definitive breakthroughs in dementia? Group efforts have not yielded much and there may be some original thinker out there who will come up with some concrete answers. They will have access to data that I do not have, but I would be very to receive 111 full blood panel test results from folks with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. I have an idea that there has to be a common deficit and these tests may hold a clue. P O Box 45, Harkerville, Bitou, RSA, 6604.

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