News Release

Alzheimer's Disease International And Fondation Mederic Alzheimer Present Two Global Awards For Psychosocial Research In Alzheimer's Disease

12 March 2010, Thessaloniki, Greece

Two global awards for psychosocial research in Alzheimer's and dementia were presented today by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) and the Fondation Mederic Alzheimer at the 25th International Conference of ADI, held at the Grand Hotel Palace, Thessaloniki, Greece.

Psychosocial research involves or relates to both the social and psychological aspects of a patient's life. Often this includes the relationship between the personal, internal environment and the wider social world, such as the influence of social and environmental factors on an individual's state of mind and/or behavior.

The first award was given for "Best evidence-based psychosocial research in dementia." ADI awarded Amit Dias, MD, Lecturer at the Department of Preventive Medicine Goa Medical College, India, 18,000 Euros to spend on dissemination of the research findings regarding "Effectiveness of a community based psychosocial intervention for supporting people with dementia and their caregivers in developing countries."

Dias and his team conducted a randomized, controlled trial using a flexible, stepped care approach to address the needs of families of people with dementia. According to Dias, this is one of the first evidence-based interventions in Asia on non-pharmacological means to address the needs of people with dementia and their families.

"The project showed that home-based support for caregivers of persons with dementia, which emphasizes the use of locally available human resources, is feasible and acceptable," Dias said. "The support leads to significant improvements in caregiver mental health, reduction of the burden of caring, and has an impact on the quality of life of the people with dementia."

The research findings are published in a peer reviewed scientific journal - PLOS One - and are freely available on the internet. The project was initially funded by the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India.

Dias is Secretary of the Dementia Society of Goa (Goa Chapter of the Alzheimer's and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI)) and coordinator of the organization's Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel. He is coordinator of the 10/66 dementia research group in India.

The two presenting organizations say they were particularly sensitive to the effectiveness of the intervention in developing countries in making this award. A special recommendation in this category went to Prof. dr. Rose-Marie Droës for her application, "Implementing of the Meeting Centres Support Programme in Europe."

A second award was given in the category of "Most promising evidence-based psychosocial research." Prof. Anne Margriet Pot, Free University, Amsterdam, received 7,000 Euros from ADI for "Mastery over Dementia: an innovative e-mental health intervention for family caregivers of people with dementia." The award will be used for translation and further spread of this programme throughout the membership of ADI. The presenting organizations gave a special recommendation in this category to Prof. Li-Chan Lin, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, for "The Efficacy of Acupressure and Montessori-based Activities to Reduce Agitated Behavior in Demented Elders."

"This award shows how much teams, wherever they are located in the world, prove to be creative in order to enhance the life conditions of people with dementia," said Bruno Anglès d'Auriac, Chairman of the Fondation Médéric Alzheimer. "These teams are initiators of experiences and knowledge on innovative ways of taking care of people with dementia and their carers."

"We were very happy with the quality of the applications, and the geographical spread," said Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International. "These projects deserve wider dissemination as people with dementia and their families can benefit from the results immediately."

25th International Conference of Alzheimer's Disease International

The 25th Conference of ADI was held March 10-13, 2010, at the Grand Hotel Palace, Thessaloniki, Greece. The theme - "Dementia: Making A Difference." Please visit http://www.adi2010.org/

The 26th International Conference of ADI will be held March 26-29, 2011 in Toronto, Canada, with the theme, "The Changing Face of Dementia." Registration opens July 1, 2010. The event is targeted to medical professionals, researchers, family and professional carers, and people living with dementia. Anyone touched by Alzheimer's disease or other dementias will benefit from attending.

Alzheimer's Disease International

ADI (London) is the international federation of 71 Alzheimer associations. It was founded in 1984 as a network for Alzheimer associations around the world to share and exchange information, resources and skills. ADI is based in London and is registered as a non-profit organization in the USA. ADI has been in official relations with the World Health Organization since 1996. Each member is the national Alzheimer association in their country who support people with dementia and their families. ADI's mission is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their families throughout the world.

Fondation Mederic Alzheimer

The Fondation Mederic Alzheimer (Paris) is a non-profit organization that was created in 1999. It aims to increase the knowledge in social sciences related to Alzheimer's disease, to support and promote innovative field projects intended to help people with Alzheimer's and their carers, and to instigate national surveys allowing the analysis of yearly evolutions and geographic disparities. The Fondation organises its support and research actions along three axes: (1) Observe, identify and understand, (2) Inspire, support and sustain and (3) Raise awareness and make available information and state of the art.