News Release

Alzheimer’s Disease International Advocates For A Global Public Policy On Dementia And Alzheimer In All Countries Of The World

San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1 May 2014

At the beginning of its 29th International Conference, the President of Alzheimer Disease International (ADI), Dr. Jacob Roy Kuriakose strongly supported that dementia is considered a health priority by every country at a global level. “Since 1996 we have been working with the World’s Health Organization to promote the creation of governmental public policy due to the increasing prevalence of Alzheimer Disease.  ADI estimates that in 2014 there were 45 million persons diagnosed with some type of dementia, a number likely to increase to 76 million in 2030 and to 135 million people by 2050”, informed Dr. Kuriakose. He explained that current and anticipated data demonstrates that there are differences in the number of persons with dementia in low and medium income countries versus high income countries. Then, he added that care for those diagnosed with dementia, such as Alzheimer among others, brings about high economic costs.

“The direct and indirect medical cost as well as the cost of informal family care for people with dementia in the United States amounted to $604 billion dollars in 2010; in México it raised to more than $800 billion, while in Canada it reached the amount of $1,300 billion. In North and South America for example, there were 7.8 persons with dementia in 2010, and there are forecasts of reaching 14.8 million people in 2030 and 27 million by 2050”, commented ADI’s President. He said that it is important to develop public policy responses towards dementia, a disease that has reached global proportions now. Dr. Kuriakose attributed the 247% forecasted increase by 2050 to the world’s population aging.

At the present moment there are 30 research groups about dementia and Alzheimer, as a result of joint efforts among ADI and Alzheimer Associations in countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, India, Russia, China and the south east region of Asia. “We have the certainty that the results of these research groups will continue providing us with relevant data that will help improve treatment and care of Alzheimer dementia at a global level”, said Kuriakose.

On another subject, Marc Wortmann, ADI’s Executive Director commented about the medical and scientific conferences that will be presented during the 2014 Sessions that are being celebrated in Puerto Rico for the first time.  “Among the research results that will be presented to Conference attendants there’s a research study that was carried out with persons with Alzheimer in Puerto Rico. Besides, another study that correlates diabetes and Alzheimer will also be presented, as well as the result of studies on prevention that have been carried out in European countries.

“A close relation among chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and vascular dementia has been observed. Given the importance of these findings, we have reunited here representatives from more than 50 countries, and we’ll be carrying out 120 presentations about science, care and current projects that are being developed throughout the world. We’ll also listen to the first hand experiences of persons that will share what their lives with Alzheimer have been, and also will present the public policy agreements that were adopted at the G8 Summit carried out in London on December 2013”, said Wortmann.

Dr. Serge Gauthier, Chairman of ADI’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel talked about three issues on which there are ample differences of opinions. Among these he mentioned the used of biomarkers for early detection, the scientific debate on prevention that has been studied by researchers in the United States, Canada, London, Australia and the Netherlands, regarding finding a cure for Alzheimer Disease.

Two representatives of Puerto Rico’s health professional’s community, neurologist Heriberto Acosta, MD and the President of the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rico Alzheimer Association, Dr. Enna Santiago commented about the most recent local data on disease prevalence on the Island, available treatments and the great importance of early detection to initiate treatment.

Notes to editors

ADI’s 29th International Conference is being carried out at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel, located in the Miramar Conventions District, until next Sunday May 4. Health professionals, caretakers, family members and the general public interested in attending these activities can call 787-460-4632 or go to the Registration Area at the entrance of the Conference area and enroll. For additional information please visit   

Alzheimer Disease International (ADI) is the international federation of 79 national Alzheimer associations around the world. ADI was founded in 1984 to help establish and strengthen Alzheimer associations throughout the world, through the exchange of information, skills and models of best practice. ADI wants to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their families and to raise global awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and all other causes of dementia.