News Release

First International Memory Walk for Alzheimer's Disease Includes President of Taiwan

22 April 2013, Taipei

Memory Walks take place all around the world during World Alzheimer's Month in September every year, to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. But there has never been an international Memory walk until today, during the 28th international conference of Alzheimer's Disease International in Taipei. The walk attracted more than 3,000 people from 35 countries and included President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan. The government of Taiwan has just announced that it is going to work on a national Alzheimer plan.

36 million people had Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia in 2010, according to the World Health Organization and Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI). There are 7.7 million new cases annually or one in every four seconds somewhere around the world. The impact of the disease is huge to families affected, as well as to society. Unless a cure is found quickly, dementia will be the biggest health and social care challenge of the 21st century.

Over 3,000 people gathered today to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and dementia in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. President Ma joined the walk and addressed the delegates and announced seven key areas of attention in public policy, including education, better treatment and support to the family caregivers.

Many of the participants are attending the 28th international conference of Alzheimer's Disease International, the oldest global conference on Alzheimer's disease and dementia. The conference touches on topics including scientific research, best practises in dementia care, current policies in various parts of the world and the work of Alzheimer associations in their countries.

"Alzheimer's disease and other dementias have a huge impact on people with dementia and their families, but we have to be aware that a lot can be done to improve their quality of life," says Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer's Disease International. "With a better insight of dementia, it is easier for families to cope with it and find the right solutions in day to day life."

The conference has many presentations on good support projects, but also on current research to find a cure, how the risk of getting dementia can be reduced and which countries have already developed national Alzheimer plans.

"We urge all governments to create dementia friendly communities and to make dementia a national health and social care priority," says Dr. Jacob Roy Kuriakose, Chairman of ADI.

ADI is organising the conference together with Taiwan Alzheimer's Disease Association (TADA).


About ADI

Alzheimer's Disease International is the international federation of 79 Alzheimer associations around the world. Each member is the Alzheimer association in their country who support people with dementia and their families. ADI has been in official relations with the World Health Organization since 1996 and the United Nations since 2012. ADI's vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world.

About TADA

Taiwan Alzheimer's Disease Association was established on 15 September 2002 and became a full member of ADI in 2005. The visions of TADA are a better life for people with dementia and caregivers, and to create a world without dementia.