Developing new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia was the focus of an information event organised today by London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis.

Marina, who serves as Conservative Health Spokesman in the European Parliament, is committed to finding new ways to tackle Alzheimer’s. Last year she worked on a European Parliament report on the disease where she consulted widely with Alzheimer’s groups in the UK. Marina made a number of recommendations on the rights of patients, family and carers as well as the best ways to raise awareness of dementia. Marina is also a member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance.

At the event held at Europe House in London, Marina said: “Over 820,000 live with dementia across the UK with nearly 500,000 Alzheimer’s sufferers. Moreover, there is an increasing prevalence of dementia due to our ageing population. Increasing awareness of dementia can help with early diagnosis, which can help lessen the effects of the disease as well as reducing healthcare costs.”

“In the European Union we need to share best practices in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. We also need to pool resources in researching and developing possible cures. Alzheimer’s can only be beaten through research and while the European Union has given EUR 159 million in funding, much more still needs to be done.”

Dr. Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK made a presentation in which he said: “Dementia is not a normal part of ageing, it is caused by brain diseases which we can beat with enough research. As the population ages, numbers living with dementia are set to spiral, placing enormous pressure on families, society and the economy. The UK boasts some of the world’s leading dementia scientists, and with more support and investment, they can deliver the advancements in detection, treatment and prevention that we need.”

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