Yesterday, Daniel Zeichner, Labour MP for Cambridge welcomed fellow MPs and peers to a parliamentary drop-in session to learn more about dementia in their local areas. The event was in partnership with Cambridge based, leading dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research Uk, and pharmaceutical company MSD.
Speaking at the event, Daniel said, “we’ve made great improvements in diagnosis rates for dementia, but what we’ve learnt today. Is that there is still more that needs to be done. We know that people need to receive their diagnosis earlier, so that they have the greatest chance of planning the care and support they need.”
There are 850,000 people currently living with dementia in the UK and this number is expected to exceed one million within the next ten years. While there is currently no treatment to slow, cure or prevent the disease, if diagnosed early, there are greater opportunities for people and their loved ones to plan for their care and live well.
During the afternoon, there was also the opportunity to experience Alzheimer’s Research UK’s virtual reality headset, A Walk Through Dementia, and talk to the team there about the ways people can reduce their risk of getting dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. These include maintaining a healthy weight, keeping active, exercising regularly and ensuring cholesterol and blood pressure are at a health level.
Dr Matthew Norton, Director of Policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said, “Dementia is the greatest medical challenge of our time, with growing numbers of people developing the condition, there is an urgent need for new treatments and preventions. Our MPs’ have a vital role to play in keeping dementia on the government’s agenda and we are delighted to see Mr Zeichner continuing to support research to defeat the condition and helping to raise public awareness.”
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