The news isn’t great when it comes to the increasing numbers of Australians who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and/or Parkinson’s disease.

According to Dementia Australia, in 2018 there are an estimated 425,416 Australians living with dementia, 191,367 (45%) males and 234,049 (55%) females.

Australian Parkinson’s statistics reveal another concerning trend. The disease affects an estimate 10 million individuals worldwide, including 80,000 in Australia. Thirty-two people are diagnosed with the disease daily, with 20% of those are under 50 years of age and 10% diagnosed before the age of 40.

The Michael J Fox Foundation, explains Parkinson’s Disease in this simple video below:

Talking Age Care reported that the President of Pfizer Worldwide Research and Development Mikael Dolton, reflected that the ‘extremely difficult design’, was driven by science, not cost, adding that they faced continual setbacks, meaning the company had to ‘come to terms’ with the fact that their research efforts were simply ‘not making the progress necessary to translate into truly transformational therapies’.

Among the Australian peak bodies to contribute to the global backlash against the decision is Dementia Australia, with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maree McCabe highlighting research into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease as a “key element” in addressing the impact that dementia has on our communities.

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For the thousands of Australians and millions worldwide, this marks a worrying trend with decisions regarding research into therapies, solely in the hands of philanthropists and governments alone.