I believe that increasing public awareness and understanding of dementia among the wider public is vital to ensure that people are supported to live well with the condition.
Research is crucial to understanding and tackling dementia. Under the Challenge on Dementia 2020 strategy, the Government's commitment to spend over £300 million on dementia research between 2015 and 2020 was met a year early, with £341 million being spent by March 2019. The Government is also supporting the £79 million Accelerating Detection of Disease challenge, a project bringing together the NHS, industry and leading charities to support research into the early diagnosis of disease, including dementia.
I know that the Government remains committed to research to combat dementia and will shortly lay out plans for supporting people with dementia in England up to 2025 - I look forward to seeing these plans and funding commitments at the next Spending Review. I will work with my colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care to ensure that the manifesto commitment to double research funding to over £160 million each year by 2030 is delivered as swiftly as is possible.
I am proud to support a Government that is committed to taking the difficult decisions and tackling these problems head on, creating a sustainable adult care system that is fit for the future. An extra £36 billion will be invested in the health and care system over the next three years, including £5.4 billion in adult social care, to ensure it has the resources it needs to recover from the pandemic. Further, the Government announced a landmark £33.9 billion for the NHS by 2023/24 to secure the long term future of our NHS.
I was also interested to learn that a new drug for treating Alzheimer's, called Aducanumab, has been approved in the USA, and while I know that this is not a cure, nor a miracle drug, it is a positive step forward. I will, of course, continue to monitor the progress of this drug in the UK, and I know that NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, has begun its appraisal of aducanumab and expects to publish final guidance in May 2022.
Moreover, I absolutely agree that improving brain health is extremely important, which is why I firmly support work being done by the Alzheimer's Society on brain training. I know that the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact in so many ways, and that prolonged isolation, particularly for older people and those who are not working, can have an impact on brain function. While I know that playing brain games may not prevent dementia, it has been shown that regularly challenging yourself mentally seems to build up the brain's ability to cope with disease. I would certainly be happy to raise the profile of the importance of keeping engaged and keeping brains healthy.
Finally, I was pleased that Alzheimer Research UK held an event on 15 September. However, due to prior commitments I was unable to attend.