Tories pledge £1.6bn investment to help find dementia cure

Boris Johnson has announced plans to invest more than £1.6 billion over the next decade to find a cure for dementia if his party wins the election.

The prime minister said the condition was the "next great frontier" in medicine and that the UK should be "leading" in the fight to tackle it.

The investment would double current funding levels and the Tories said it would set Britain's finest scientists to work on a "dementia moonshot".

It will be spent on increasing the number of clinical research academics and researchers studying innovative techniques including advanced therapeutics and neurotechnologies.

The Tories have pledged to double dementia research funding. Credit: PA

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there was "hope on the horizon of a cure for dementia."

"Or at least the ability to delay its onset, so we are going to double the research funding," he said.

"Bu also we will have a moonshot - a national mission - to find a cure for dementia, we are going to get the best scientists from around the world.

"We are going to work with companies, research agencies and the government to try to tackle this big frontier, so that fewer people have to have that horrible experience of their declining years, living with dementia."

The Conservatives have also announced a new £500 million fund to build on the Cancer Drugs Fund to give patients quicker access to cutting-edge medicines for cancer and other diseases.

Mr Johnson said: "As people live longer, dementia becomes a real issue, and so what we're announcing today is a £1.6 billion moonshot to tackle dementia."

The prime minister said there was a "big opportunity" for the UK to lead the way in curing the syndrome, and to "give people happier and healthier lives in old age".

"We think we're at the margins now of ways to cure it so we're putting a £1.6 billion effort into tackling dementia.

"It's the next great frontier and the UK should be leading in that fight."