SDLP Foyle Westminster candidate has warned that dementia is on course to be the biggest killer of the century.
Mr Durkan was speaking as he expressed his support for Dementia Awareness Week 2017, while warning
A week-long programme of events are being held across the north west as part of a campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the daily battle experienced by people who suffer from memory loss and communication problems.
Mr Durkan has campaigned both in Derry and at Westminster in support of the 15,000 people in Northern Ireland affected by dementia.
He said: “Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer – which will affect us all.
“I am therefore delighted to support Dementia Awareness Week 2017 which aims to give dementia sufferers the support they need and help bring us closer to finding a cure.
“Dementia is caused by diseases, most commonly Alzheimer’s, which physically attack an otherwise healthy brain.”
“But,” he added, “diseases can be beaten.”
“Major breakthroughs have been made in the battle against AIDS and cancer, and research will bring these same life-changing advancements in the field of dementia with the right support.
“While there are presently no treatments which can slow or stop the disease processes in the brain, people with dementia deserve that same hope. I therefore pledge to continue my support for efforts to develop new drugs and the excellent work done by various charities to ensure that future treatments get to patients as quickly as possible.
“I also vow to continue my calls for dementia research to get the backing it needs from government.
“It is critically important that we see additional support for people with dementia and improved diagnosis rates not only in Derry but throughout the North,” he added.