Global Initiative Against Dementia

Global initiative against dementia

February 20, 2015 by Kasper Jørgensen for the National Research Center for Dementia in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In response to the ever-growing global challenge of dementia, an international expert group recommends a number of policy and legislative initiatives. The recommendations are aimed primarily at policy and decision makers. According to the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) Dementia Forum, the economic challenges associated with dementia in the heavyweight class.

Cost of care globally amounts to more than $600 billion in 2010, equivalent to one percent of global gross domestic product. As a result of the expected population growth with rising life expectancy and more demented, it is estimated that the global cost will increase by 85% by the year 2030. In the US alone is expected to cost in 2050 to exceed one trillion dollars (a million million).

Get resources for research into the treatment of dementia

One of the issues in the report that has attracted the most attention is the problem of financing the development of a cure – or at least a disease-modifying treatment – against dementia. Compared with other diseases characterized research and development in dementia of under investment. For example, awarded HIV / AIDS in the United States about five times as much public funding as Alzheimer’s disease, although the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s about five times as high as the number of HIV-infected.

Costly failures

Since the 1990s, research in the development and testing of new drugs against dementia was characterized by numerous failures, but costly experiments and projects petered out. The last time a new drug for dementia was approved was in 2002.

In response to the massive setbacks, the major pharmaceutical companies in the period from 2009 to 2014 have halved the number of development projects. It is estimated that researchers have become more cautious and less likely to try out new and unconventional ideas. At the same time turned down for parallel testing whether already known drugs against other diseases also works against dementia.

The report by the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) Dementia Forum contains 10 recommendations on how governments can address the global challenges of dementia.

10 recommendations to the governments of the world:

  1. Formulate a national action plan for dementia
  2. Generate increased knowledge and awareness of dementia in the population. For example, through awareness campaigns, developing dementia friendly environments and establishment of patient organizations
  3. Think brain health into public health strategies. Healthy aging should be viewed in a lifelong perspective
  4. Build better scientific evidence for the prevention of dementia. Support research on risk reduction and delay of dementia development
  5. Create better dementia care. Introduce evidence-based and cost-effective approaches in dementia care
  6. Create a strong and effective care sector. Introduce financial incentives that support a skilled workforce
  7. Initiate and support longitudinal studies. Support longitudinal studies of larger patient groups in order to better understand the disease development
  8. Support the development of new drugs. Make way from research and development of drugs to market shorter and more streamlined
  9. Strengthen public research budgets. Invest in basic research, clinical research and applied research in dementia
  10. Support the development of innovative financing models for research, which makes it easier to attract private investors to dementia research

WISH is an initiative launched by the Qatar Foundation, a charitable organization based in the small, wealthy emirate on the Persian Gulf. You can read their full report as a downloadable PDF file here or visit the WISH website here.


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