World's science academies urge G7 to tackle neurodegenerative disease

3rd May 2017

National science academies from the G7 countries, including the UK’s Royal Society, are jointly calling for member organisations to tackle three global challenges ahead of the 43rd G7 Summit held in Taormina, Italy. 

These include:

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said “Science underlies much of the innovation that advance our economic, social and cultural well-being, as well as our health. Making advances in the three key areas highlighted in these statements will improve the lives of millions worldwide. We need the support and leadership of G7 countries to secure future growth, tackle health challenges within an aging population and protect our precious cultural heritage.''


The challenge of neurodegenerative diseases in an aging population

Neurodegenerative diseases like dementia have no cure, and specific and effective treatments for them are urgently needed. Alzheimer’s disease alone will affect between one-third and one-half of people above 85 years of age; thus the number of people affected, estimated at 40 million worldwide in 2015, is anticipated to increase to 135 million by 2050. 

The full statement highlights that:

'Because of the heavy personal and economic impact of neurodegenerative disease, and since pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to invest in the kind of fundamental research necessary to crack the problem, a significant expansion of public funding is vital to sustain a worldwide effort against the growing burden of these brain diseases. Based on recent progress, a global effort may have a realistic chance to address the problem effectively. Now is the time for political action given that the unrestrained aging of the population forbodes a depressing future for the next generations' 










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