A record £1.7m dementia research grant has been donated to Newcastle University by the Alzheimer’s Society.
The five-year funding will be used to create a Centre of Excellence for dementia research and boost the number of researchers working in dementia care with the aim of making the UK a world leader in the field.
Alzheimer’s Society Head of Research Development, Colin Capper, said: “Dementia is set to the 21st century’s biggest killer and there is currently no cure. People living with dementia have the right to the best possible care.
“Today we are laying the foundations for building networks of internationally recognised researchers in dementia care in the UK. We are making major investments that will contribute a great deal towards improving care and support for people affected by dementia.”
Newcastle University is one on of three pioneering Centres of Excellence to be created nationwide with the help of grants of up to £2m, the others being the University of Exeter and University College London. Alzheimer’s Society hopes to establish more in the future.
Colin added: “We are excited at the potential that each of these Centres of Excellence hold for improving care and hope to establish further Centres over the coming years.
“These Centres are an excellent example of how being united against dementia, and listening to those affected, can bring about real and lasting change through high-quality, world-leading research.
“It presents a unique opportunity for collaboration with health and social care providers and policy makers.”
There are an estimated 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK – 35,000 of them in the North East – and this number is expected to exceed one million by 2021.
Louise Robinson, Director of Newcastle University Institute for Ageing and Professor of Primary Care and Ageing, said: “Throughout Newcastle University we have a well-developed, multi-disciplinary programme of dementia research.
“We examine everything from the causes and potential cures of dementia, to the care models and societal changes that support people living with dementia, and their families.
“We want to address what resources are needed to provide a better quality of care, and how these can be successfully delivered; understanding the costs of this care against the long-term benefits.”