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Page last updated at 07:04 GMT, Monday, 26 March 2012 08:04 UK

Dementia research government 'top priority'


The Health Minister Paul Burstow has said that the government is making research into dementia a "top priority".

Mr Burstow was speaking after it was announced that funding for dementia research in the UK is to be more than doubled to £66m over the next three years.

He told the Today programme's Evan Davis that the money was coming out of research budgets that have been allocated to various research bodies, adding that the UK had "not been spending enough on understanding the basic science" behind dementia which was a "huge cost" of £23bn to the economy.

"It's about making sure we're a centre of excellence when it comes to research... care and treatment", he said, and a "recognition that we have not done enough in the past".

He went on to say that the reason people know their chances of surviving cancer is getting better is because of years and years of research.

"Dementia research is years and years behind cancer research", he said, "we do see ourselves as becoming a world leader."

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