Fuelling the Moonshot: Unleashing the UK’s potential through dementia research

Fuelling the Moodshot cover

This report, written by the APPG on Dementia, details the findings of the Group’s inquiry into dementia research and what role the Government’s commitment to funding a ‘Dementia Moonshot’ can make. During the inquiry the Group heard from a wide range of stakeholders to better understand the issues presently faced by the sector and where there are opportunities to cement the UK’s status in the field of dementia research.

This report’s central recommendation is for the Government to deliver on its manifesto commitment and fund the Dementia Moonshot as soon as possible, working with stakeholders to establish a timetable for this funding to be brought forward.

Accompanying this central call to the Government, the report also makes several recommendations. These are:

  • That Moonshot funding is directed towards development of novel methods for early diagnosis, such as blood and other biomarkers for different types of dementia.
  • Entrench the UK’s global leadership in biomedical and translational dementia research by confirming appropriate funding for the UK Dementia 2 Research Institute for the next 10 years
  • Building on the success of the multidisciplinary approach of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Centres of Excellence model, further expanding it by introducing 3 new centres that will focus on some of the biggest challenges in dementia research that can have the biggest impact on the lives of people affected by dementia.
  • For the Government to use the Moonshot to establish a specific fund of £40m to support both clinical and preclinical postdoctoral research 4 positions and talent retention in dementia research.
  • For the Government to develop a Longitude Prize for dementia, which would support the development of novel technologies and help to ensure that the UK is at the forefront of developing technology for people with 5 dementia and their carers.
  • The Government should work with Join Dementia Research and NHS authorities to maximise the success of JDR by (a) moving JDR to an opt out model and (b) addressing data gaps by integrating JDR with electronic patient records.
  • For the newlycreated Office for Health Promotion to launch public information campaigns to explain how the public can take steps to reduce their dementia risk, and to generally increase people’s understanding of dementia.