Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Sir Terry Pratchett calls for 'aggressive action' on dementia
SIR TERRY Pratchett has called for a “crash programme of research” to combat dementia - like that carried out on HIV in the 1980s.
The global best selling author says “aggressive action” is needed to fight the condition.
Former Bucks Free Press reporter Sir Terry, who suffers with Alzheimers, has made the plea as charities struggle for cash.
The UK's leading dementia research charity, the Alzheimer's Research Trust, says its investigations into curing the disease are “still crippled by underfunding”.
It has urged the public, Government and the private sector to help end “years of pitifully low investment in research”.
Discworld novelist Sir Terry, a patron of Alzheimer's Research UK, said: “Alzheimer's is a large number of small tragedies usually played out behind closed doors, so in spite of the numbers living with it, the world still doesn't take much notice."
Sir Terry, who grew up in Beaconsfield, said: “When the world was shocked by HIV in the eighties, we saw a crash programme of research which has helped tame it enormously.
"We need the same kind of aggressive action on dementia now.”
A YouGov poll showed 34 per cent of respondents in the South East feared dementia most, above cancer (26 per cent) and death (16 per cent).
Over half of UK adults aged 30-50 fear dementia for their parents, compared to 42 per cent fearing cancer and 33 per cent heart attack.
A report shows that for every research UK scientist working on dementia, six work on cancer.
Alzheimer's Research UK said dementia costs the UK economy £23bn, more than cancer (£12bn) and heart disease (£8bn) combined.
Yet dementia research funding lags behind.
Alzheimer's Research UK's Chief Executive Rebecca Wood said: “We have such brilliant research talent in the UK which could make real inroads into defeating dementia with more support - our brains depend on theirs.
“We need the combined efforts of charities, Government and the private sector to defeat dementia.”
Comments are closed on this article.