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New research projects major increase in Alzheimer's care costs for England

omestic Product. Long-term care expenditure on older people with cognitive impairment is projected to rise faster than long-term care expenditure on older people as a whole.

SOCIAL AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS

The research suggests that unless more effective treatments for cognitive impairment are developed and made widely available, the numbers of older people with the condition will rise significantly over the next 30 years. However, if current or future treatments were to reduce the percentage of older people with the more severe stages of cognitive impairment by 1% per year, this would broadly offset the effect of rising numbers of older people.

Professor Martin Knapp, Professor of Social Policy at LSE said "These results highlight the importance of research to develop effective therapeutic strategies for the later stages of dementia. Treatments that delay the progression of dementia could delay the need for institutional care and enable older people to receive informal and formal care at home for longer. At the same time, we must stress that support for informal carers in these circumstances would be essential."

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust commented: "These figures show the urgent need to find an effective and permanent treatment for Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. Research in the UK is severely under-funded, yet offers a real hope for finding an answer to dementia. This report also highlights the importance of developing appropriate formal services for those with cognitive impairment which is rising faster than overall figures for long-term care requirements might have indicated previously."


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Contact: Harriet Millward
hmillward@alzheimers-research.org.uk
44-122-384-3899
Alzheimer's Research Trust
22-Jan-2003


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