Boris Johnson launches new national mission to fight dementia in memory of late Carry On and EastEnders star, Lady Barbara Windsor.
The Prime Minister said the government would commit a further 95 million in research funding, delivering on a clear commitment to double funding for research into treatments for the disease to 160 million by 2024.
He called for a Babs army of volunteers, with or without a family history of dementia, to come forward to participate in clinical trials of new preventative therapies.
The announcement follows a meeting earlier this week in Downing Street between Mr Johnson and Dame Barbara’s widower, Scott Mitchell.
The actress, who died in 2020helped lead a dementia awareness campaign after Mr Mitchell revealed in 2018 that she had been diagnosed with the disease four years earlier.
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Mr Johnson said: Dame Barbara Windsor was a British hero.
I am delighted that we can now honor Dame Barbara in such an appropriate way, by launching a new National Dementia Mission in her name.
We can work together to defeat this disease and honor an exceptional woman who tirelessly advocated for change.
Mr Mitchell said: Barbara would be so proud that she had this legacy which will hopefully mean families of the future don’t have to go through the same harrowing experience that she and I had to endure.
I can’t help but think of her looking up proudly.
Downing Street said the mission would be led by a new task force, bringing together industry, the NHS, academics and families living with the disease.
It will draw on recent advances in biological sciences and data, including genomics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the latest brain imaging technologies, to test new treatments from a growing range of possible options.
Mr Mitchell is an ambassador for Alzheimers Research UK, and chief charities chief executive Hilary Evans said: The Vaccine Task Force has torn up the regulations on how drug discovery, drug trials and drug approvals are done.
With promising Phase III clinical trial results expected for a number of potential new treatments over the coming months, now is the time for political will and clear leadership from the highest level of government. to ensure that all new and approved treatments reach people here in the UK. as quickly as possible.
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