By Tim Saunders on
Discworld creator Terry Pratchett will present a petition to Britain’s Prime Minister later today, November 26, calling for higher government funding for research into Alzheimer’s.
The 60-year-old author was diagnosed with a rare, early-onset form of the disease – called posterior cortical atrophy – in December 2007, and has since became a leading figure in the fight for funding and a staunch advocate for research.
The petition has been signed by over 100 scientists and 20,000 members of the public, and Pratchett hopes it will raise awareness of the condition, which currently affects over 700,000 people in the UK yet receives just three per cent of government medical research funding.
“We are facing, to use the term said to me by one of the leading US researchers, a worldwide tsunami of Alzheimer’s and other dementia diseases,” said Pratchett, who is also the patron of the Alzheimer's Research UK. “I intend to scream and harangue while there is time. There’s only two ways it can go: researchers, with as much help you can give them, may come up with something that reduces the effects of this dreadful, inhuman disease, or we will have to face the consequences of our failure to prevent the final years of many of us being a long bad dream. The strain on carers and their support is bad enough now; before very long the effects on the health service and society itself, will be unbearable.”
The Alzheimer’s Research Trust is the UK’s leading research charity for dementia, dedicated to funding scientific studies to treat, cure, or prevent Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, Lewy Body disease, and fronto-temporal dementia. They rely completely on donations to fund their research.
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