News Release

Landmark publication demands long term committment to battle dementia

London, 14 March 2016

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) welcomes news that the Lancet Neurology Commission is dedicating the entire 15th volume of the Lancet Neurology this April to a detailed overview of, and recommendations for, care and research in Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. 'Defeating Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias: a priority for European science and society' was led by Professor Bengt Winblad, Center for Alzheimer Research at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and edited by leading researchers from Sweden, France, UK, Australia, Denmark, Canada, Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg, the United States, Germany and Netherlands.

The 74 page report will be presented to the European Parliament Commissioners in Brussels on 15 March.

The report supports data and recommendations in ADI’s World Alzheimer Report 2015, 'The Global Impact of Dementia: An analysis of prevalence, incidence, cost and trends’, in calling for a long term political and economic commitment to improving dementia care and research, while strongly emphasising the importance of a united effort to deliver progress. This should include multi-national partnerships made up of public government organisations, academic centres, pharmaceuticals and others, as well as establishing an improved infrastructure for non-pharmaceutical care for dementia.

Globally, a new case of dementia arises every 3 seconds. The number of individuals with dementia is expected to nearly double every 20 years, with 58% of those affected living in low and middle income countries.

By 2050, dementia will affect 131 million individuals worldwide. It will be a trillion dollar disease by 2018. 

Recommendations in the report follow progress made since the G8 Dementia Summit in 2013, and G7 legacy events, and the World Health Organisation’s first Ministerial Conference on Global Action against Dementia in March 2015, in establishing National Dementia Plans globally. ADI supports the report in calling for all governments to establish a National Plan for dementia including:    

  • Increased political will to develop national strategy policies to strengthen dementia care and infrastructure in all countries;
  • Building effective partnerships to address dementia at all levels, including building on progress of Dementia Friendly Communities;
  • Focusing on the rights and voice of individuals with dementia at all levels, including advocacy for these rights through the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, called the paper “An important step that confirms that we know what to do, we just need the political will to make that happen. There is momentum now for policies from WHO, EU and Global Action Against Dementia and we also urge the G20 countries to make dementia their priority”.  

Professor Winblad, former chair and current active member of ADI’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel, stated:

“To defeat Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, united actions are needed, not only within research, but also within the political arena on all levels. My hope is that our work will stimulate increased national and international collaboration”

The Lancet Neurology Commission paper will be available online after 15 March 2016 at: