Fifty Years of Terry Pratchett

25 million affected by dementia, as Terry Pratchett steps-up fight against the disease

An Alzheimer’s Research Trust survey has revealed that 25 million people in the UK are touched by dementia. The poll results are released as Terry Pratchett announces he is to become a Patron of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust.

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, found that 42% of the UK population – 25 million people – know a close friend, family member or someone else with dementia. 700,000 people in the UK have the disease.

Terry Pratchett, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in December, recently donated $1 million to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust to help find a cure.

The best-selling author said:

I am proud to become a Patron of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust. Alzheimer’s is a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies. I understand the desperation of sufferers and their carers and their hopes for, if not a cure, at least some regime that might help us live with Alzheimer’s. Frankly, I’d eat the arse out of a dead mole if it offered a fighting chance. It was a shock to find out that funding for Alzheimer’s research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures. Right now, one thing we can do is make certain that Alzheimer’s does not remain out in the shadows. Once upon a time, cancer was only spoken of as “a long illness”. When people felt able to talk about it, the battle could begin. The same thing can happen with Alzheimer’s. Before you can kill the demon, you have to say its name.”

Rebecca Wood, Chief Executive of the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, said:
“We’re so pleased to have Terry’s continued support. He is an inspiration to the 700,000 people who have dementia and 25 million friends and family affected by the disease. With a force like Terry demanding a drastic increase in dementia research funding, the government must recognise soon that it can no longer put off urgently needed reform.”

Terry Pratchett’s campaign with the Alzheimer’s Research Trust now has the backing of over 100 MPs who have signed a motion (EDM no. 1337) in the House of Commons calling for an increase in dementia research funding.