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Alzheimer's disease needs to be tackled

19 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson Carál Ní Chuilín MLA has said that the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease needs to given the same priority and funding as any other major illnesses.

Welcoming that news that both Queen's and the University of Ulster universities are launching the first centre for Alzheimer's research Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"Alzheimer's affects more than 16,000 people across the North of Ireland and that number is expected to double over twenty years. Although Alzheimer's primarily affects older people it can affect adults of all ages and the attitude of that it is ok as it is an old people's disease needs to be challenged as old people have as much right to be healthy as younger people.

"In terms of funding for every £1 spent per patient on Alzheimer's disease research, there's £26 spent per patient on cancer research. This disparity needs to be challenged and Alzheimer's disease needs to be taken as seriously as cancer and other life threatening illnesses.

"The news that both Universities are to create a research centre into finding a cure for addressing Alzheimer's has to be welcomed and I hope that the funding required for this centre is maintained in the long term." ENDS

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