The influential journal Lancet’s editors initiated a commission with the objective to provide expert recommendations and information on Alzheimer’s to politicians and decision-makers. More than 30 internationally leading researchers on Alzheimer’s contributed to the 78 page report now being published as the April edition of Lancet Neurology. The Commission has, under the leadership of Bengt Winblad, Professor at the Centre for Alzheimer Research at Karolinska Institutet, identified a series of challenges that urgently need to be addressed in order for society to reduce the growing financial burden caused by dementia.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form and represents approximately 60 per cent of all cases of dementia. High age is the most important risk factor and in conjunction with an increasing life expectancy, the number of people with dementia is expected to increase. In 2015, an estimated 47 million people globally suffered from dementia. That number is expected to reach 75 million by 2030 and 131 million by 2050. So far, there is no treatment that can efficiently delay or cure the disease.
David Edvardsson, Professor at the Department of Nursing at Umeå University, is one of the experts in the commission:
“The report shows how we, in the absence of efficient treatment methods, must guarantee that people with dementia receive qualitative and individual care and support that enhances their quality of life. Good and dignifying dementia care requires the availability of post-diagnostic patient information, but also well-educated, skilful and ethically sensitive care personnel with knowledge on dementia. We also need efficient coordination of available care, support and resources based on an interprofessional collaboration between caregivers, people with dementia and their relatives.”
The recommendations in Lancet Neurology cover health economics, epidemiology, prevention, genetics, biology, diagnosis, treatment, care and ethics. The commission recommends that governmental authorities collaborate with pharmaceutical companies on a multinational level to coordinate resources and distribute risks.
“The report describes how these necessary processes for planning, organising, funding and evaluating are not only meant to focus on a dementia care that is task-orientated. They also need to satisfy the equally important need for human relations and meaningfulness, as well as the individual physical, psycho-social and existential health needs of people with dementia and their close ones,” says David Edvardsson.
The article Defeating Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias: a priority for European science and society is written by researchers from Sweden, France, the UK, Australia, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, USA, Germany and the Netherlands.
About the article:
Lancet Neurology, article: Defeating Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias: a priority for European science and society. Authors: Bengt Winblad, Philippe Amouyel, Sandrine Andrieu, Clive Ballard, Carol Brayne, Henry Brodaty, Angel Cedazo-Minguez, Bruno Dubois, David Edvardsson, Howard Feldman, Laura Fratiglioni, Giovanni B Frisoni, Serge Gauthier, Jean Georges, Caroline Graff, Khalid Iqbal, Frank Jessen, Gunilla Johansson, Linus Jönsson, Miia Kivipelto, Martin Knapp, Francesca Mangialasche, René Melis, Agneta Nordberg, Marcel Olde Rikkert, Chengxuan Qiu, Thomas P Sakmar, Philip Scheltens, Lon S Schneider, Reisa Sperling, Lars O Tjernberg, Gunhild Waldemar, Anders Wimo and Henrik Zetterberg. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1474-4422(16)00062-4
For more information, please contact:
David Edvardsson, Department of Nursing, Umeå University
Phone: +61 3400 589 727
Editor: Anna Lawrence