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According to a recent report from the Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care, the number of people with dementia worldwide will rise from 36 million in 2010 to 115m in 2050. In the UK, the Alzheimer's Society has estimated that one in 14 people over age 65 currently have dementia. Several governments, including the UK government, have announced commitments to increase funding for dementia research, with a goal to find a treatment or cure, and to improve the management of the condition through the way health and social care is delivered. It is vital that this funding be allocated effectively, building on existing strengths and targeting research gaps.

RAND Europe was commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society to analyse the UK's dementia research landscape and workforce capacity. This extended summary provides an overview of the findings of a report by the Alzheimer's Society. It seeks to inform funding and capacity-building efforts in dementia research by answering the following questions:

  • What types of research on dementia are being carried out in the UK?
  • How does the UK perform in comparison to global benchmarks?
  • What does the UK dementia research workforce look like?
  • What are the associated strengths and gaps in this landscape?

In order to address these questions, RAND Europe conducted:

  • A bibliometric analysis of the UK dementia research landscape examining the diverse fields of activity and topics within dementia, as well as the UK's impact
  • An analysis of the dementia workforce pipeline (from PhD to senior researcher levels)
  • A forward-looking assessment of the research system and workforce capacity in terms of strengths, gaps and opportunities.

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The research described in this report was commissioned by the Alzheimer's Society and conducted by RAND Europe in collaboration with Science Metrix.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research report series. RAND reports present research findings and objective analysis that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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