Dementia experts are optimistic despite decline in hope for effective drugs

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 01 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4265
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Patients with dementia and their families still face hurdles in getting support and care, a conference in London on 27 June heard. But despite the problems—and against a backdrop of recent disappointments in drug development—the mood was not downcast.

Advocates of people with dementia believe that at last they have the ear of government and that change is possible.

David Blunkett, MP, set the tone by welcoming what he called David Cameron’s “continuing commitment” on dementia. “It matters that the prime minister is interested,” said Blunkett, a former Labour cabinet minister whose speech gained force by its avoidance of political point scoring. Almost the only political point he made was against his own side, an acknowledgment that the £150m (€175m; $230m) the Labour government put into dementia care when Alan Johnson was health secretary ought to have been ringfenced to ensure that it was spent as intended.

Blunkett also disclosed …

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