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Dementia: Research

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much research funding has been allocated to studies linked to dementia in each financial year since 1997-98 for which figures are available; and how much he plans to allocate in each financial year up to 2010-11. (257737)

Both the Department and the Medical Research Council (MRC) support research into dementia. Annual expenditure figures are shown in the following table.

Expenditure on dementia research

£ million

Department

Medical Research Council

Total

1997-98

0.4

5.5

5.9

1998-99

3.2

6

9.2

1999-2000

1

7.2

8.2

2000-01

4.7

8.2

12.9

2001-02

2.9

6.6

9.5

2002-03

1.6

6.6

8.2

2003-04

1.1

7.4

8.5

2004-05

19

6.2

25.2

2005-06

18.3

6

24.3

2006-07

22.8

6.4

29.2

2007-08

22.2

10.2

32.2

The Departmental figures for the years from 1997-98 to 2003-04 relate to national research programme expenditure. They do not include the part of the research and development allocations made annually at that time to national health service (NHS) providers and spent on dementia research. That information was not collected prior to 2004-05.

The more recent departmental figures are the aggregate of NHS support for degenerative neurological disorder research and comparable expenditure from National Institute for Health Research funding streams, including the cost of the dementias and neurodegenerative diseases research network.

The MRC expenditure figure for 2007-08 includes spend on some projects not previously included in annual totals.

The usual practice of the Department's National Institute for Health Research and of the MRC is not to ring-fence funds for expenditure on particular topics: research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. Future levels of expenditure on dementia research will be determined by the success of relevant bids for funding.