Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday that the U.K. will double funding for dementia research by 2015. Dementia funding will go from “£26 million at the end of the last parliament to over £66 million at the end of this one,” he announced in a speech. He went on to say that the lack of response to the dementia challenge was scandalous and amounted to a national crisis.

The increase in funding will be funneled to NHS hospitals for diagnosis and treatment. Currently the U.K. has 670,000 people living with dementia but more than have of them have not been diagnosed. The total number of people living with dementia in the U.K. is expected to reach 1 million within a decade.

Raising rates of dementia cannot only be addressed as a biomedical issue, but also must be tackled as a social issue in terms of stigma, care giving, and structural supports to maintain personhood and dignity for those living with the disease.

Said Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust: “The dementia challenge will require progress in social care, so that patients can be helped to live at home for longer, and so that relatives who care for their loved ones receive the support they need. And it will require action to raise awareness of this devastating condition, so that it is understood and not stigmatised.”

Photo courtesy of  windelbo