The Government has announced two leaders in dementia research will co-chair a national mission dedicated to tackling the condition.

Hilary Evans and Nadeem Sarwar have been appointed to the Dame Barbara Windsor Dementia Mission, following an announcement by George Freeman, the Minister for Science, Research and Innovation at the World Dementia Council Summit this week.

Hilary Evans is chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK and Professor Nadeem Sarwar is a senior lead at research-based pharmaceutical company, Eisai.

The mission was launched by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson in August 2022, to develop new research tools and increase the number and speed of clinical trials in dementia. It was set up in memory of the late Dame Barbara Windsor, who campaigned tirelessly to raise awareness of the condition and its impact.

Professor John O’Brien, National Speciality Lead for Dementia with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)

The National Institute for Health and Social Care (NIHR) National Speciality Lead for Dementia, Prof John O’Brien, said the appointments would help further the impetus and profile of dementia research.

He said: “I very much welcome the appointment of two people very experienced with dementia research, Nadeem Sarwar and Hilary Evans, to the innovative and fast-moving arena of dementia research.

“Dementia is one of the world’s greatest health threats, and the leading cause of death in the UK, so maintaining the focus on this vital area of research is of huge importance.

“It is only through research that we can understand what causes the disease and develop effective treatments and care.”

More than 25 million people in the UK have a friend or family member with dementia. Globally, 78 million people are expected to be living with dementia by 2030.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said Hilary Evans and Nadeem Sarwar will help collaborate across partners in industry, the NHS, academia and people affected by dementia.

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