ALZHEIMER'S sufferers living in Huddersfield hope their petition will help overturn a drugs ruling.
Members of the town's branch of the Alzheimer's Society presented a petition of 250 signatures to MP Barry Sheerman.
The petition states an objection to the recent decision by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (Nice) on the prescription of anti- dementia drugs.
Nice ruled that only people assessed to be in the 'moderate' stages of the illness will be prescribed them.
Society volunteers spent a week collecting signatures from people living in the town.
The petition will be sent to the Health Secretary, Patricia Hewitt.
Dementia sufferer and society member, Lena Baxter, spoke about how the drugs had improved her quality of life.
Lena has been using anti-dementia drugs for over two years.
She said they meant she was able to carry out every day tasks, such as using a microwave oven, unassisted.
She added the drugs stabilised her condition, and took pressure off her husband.
Volunteer and society member Jo Mawdsley said she hoped the petition would make a difference.
She said: "We run two groups for people who have dementia, and they are quite outraged by the decision.
"They feel worthless and fearful that they will also stop getting treatment for physical conditions.
"There is no cure, but the anti-dementia drugs do stabilise the condition. They help people remain independent for a lot longer.
"Barry Sheerman was extremely supportive, and said he had seen the devastating effects it has - not only on sufferers but also on their relatives."
There are 1,524 people in Huddersfield registered on the society's database as suffering from dementia.
This figure is just the tip of the iceberg, as there could be many more sufferers who have not come forward.
Andrew Dillon, chief executive of Nice, said: "Alzheimer's is a cruel and devastating illness, and we realise that the announcement will be disappointing.
"But, based on all the evidence, our experts have concluded that these drugs do not make enough of a difference for us to recommend their use for treating all stages of Alzheimer's disease."
Jo said: "I would dispute this - NICE has been looking at the wrong information.
"It measured its decision on a purely medicinal and pharmaceutical basis.
"It has not looked at the quality of life of the sufferers and carers that the drugs help.
"And all they cost is £2.50 a day."
The Huddersfield branch joins Alzheimer's groups across the country in their protest against the decision.
More than 80,000 sufferers are expected to be denied the drugs, which help slow the disease's progression.