26 March 2012: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/poli...d-Cameron.html The Prime Minister is likely to argue that dementia is a scandal being ignored, as he unveils a doubling in funding for research into the illness to 66 million by 2015. In a speech in central London, he will describe dementia as a quiet crisis that steals lives and tears at the hearts of families. Sufferers of dementia, which causes the mind to deteriorate, currently fill a quarter of all hospital beds. Health ministers are also concerned that the 19 billion cost of treating Britains 67,000 dementia patients every year is higher than that of treating cancer, heart disease or stroke sufferers. Alzheimer's Disease is the most common cause of dementia and the most feared complaint among people over the age of 55 in the UK, behind cancer and stroke. However, only one in four people with the illness are diagnosed. As the NHS struggles with this cost, Mr Cameron plans to improve research on living with dementia and fund a new academic centre for scientists to investigate the causes of the condition. He also wants to encourage people to volunteer for brain scanning to help identify the signs of early onset. We did it with cancer in the 70s. With HIV in the 80s and 90s, he will say. We fought the stigma, stepped up to the challenge and made massive in-roads into fighting these killers. Now weve got to do the same with dementia. This is a personal priority of mine. The number of people suffering from the condition is likely to reach a million within a decade, but only around one in four will get a correct diagnosis. Dementia is simply a terrible disease, he will say. And it is a scandal that we as a country havent kept pace with it. The level of diagnosis, understanding and awareness of dementia is shockingly low. It is as though weve been in collective denial. So my argument today is that weve got to treat this like the national crisis it is. We need an all-out fight-back against this disease; one that cuts across society." Shirley Cramer, chief executive of Alzheimers Research UK, said the new money was crucial to "if we are to avert the drastic economic costs of dementia that lie in wait". Emergency hospital admissions for dementia sufferers have risen sharply in recent years. Experts say the increasing number of admissions is costly to the NHS and in many cases unnecessary, as well as traumatic for vulnerable patients. Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, the medical charity, said the challenge of rising dementia cases would not be solved by medicine alone. It will also require progress in social care, so that patients can be helped to live at home for longer, and so that relatives who care for their loved ones receive the support they need, he said. Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said the extra funding for research marks an unprecedented step towards making the UK a world leader in dementia. He said Britain needs to see a radical shift in the way we talk, think and act on dementia.