News Release

£7.7 million study to strengthen responses to dementia in developing countries

London, 27 September 2017

  • Most people with dementia live in low and middle-income countries
  • Four-year project aims to strengthen care, treatment and support in seven countries
  • Project in partnership with Alzheimer’s Disease International and Dementia Alliance International

27 September 2017 – The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has partnered with Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) and Dementia Alliance International (DAI) to lead a £7.7 million project to build research capacity and provide much-needed evidence on dementia care in seven low and middle-income countries.

The project, called STRiDE (Strengthening responses to dementia in developing countries), will be led by the Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) at LSE and will also include the Universities of Sussex and Cape Town to examine current practice, both at a national level and for individual families, to help people living with dementia to live well, and to ensure that family and other carers do not face excessive costs that could impoverish them or compromise their own health. A core activity will be to understand the impact of dementia in various cultural, social and economic contexts in order to support development and evaluation of national plans.

The project will help to improve dementia care, treatment and support in seven countries, including India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa. It will do so by strengthening capacity in those countries to develop and sustain effective care and support for people with dementia and their families. Developing dementia plans is a primary target of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global action plan on dementia adopted by governments in 194 countries, following advocacy by ADI.

Paola Barbarino, CEO of Alzheimer’s Disease International, says: "The STRiDE project will give a deeper insight into each nation's economic challenges related to public health and dementia. This will better prepare us for the challenge of finding and proposing national solutions  to governments.”

Professor Martin Knapp, Director of PSSRU at LSE, said: “Dementia affects more people in low- and middle-income countries than it does in the UK or other high-income countries, yet few countries are prepared for the challenges of the growing number of people with dementia. Our project is ambitious, but it is urgently needed. We aim to provide research-based support to enable low- and middle-income countries to provide truly effective support for people with dementia as well as the wider community.”

Kate Swaffer, Chair and CEO of Dementia Alliance International, said: “The STRiDE project will build capacity for research for dementia in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It will also generate new research evidence on the economic case for investing in better dementia care, and support the development of national dementia plans across a range of countries. Following the recent adoption of the WHO Global Action Plan for Dementia, this is imperative, as national strategies and better investment in research and care is needed in all countries, but this is especially so in the LMICs.”

Funding has been awarded for the project by the Research Council UK (RCUK). STRiDE will start in October 2017 and run for 4 years.

Notes to editors

  • STRiDE will run for 51 months from October 2017. Further details are available from the project leads, Professor Martin Knapp and Adelina Comas-Herrera, at
  • 60% of people with dementia live in low and middle-income countries. Facts about the global impact of dementia can be found here.
  •  Find out more about the Research Council UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund

About ADI

ADI is the international federation of 90 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. ADI's vision is prevention, care and inclusion today, and cure tomorrow. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. ADI works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for persons with dementia and their care partners, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change. For more information, please visit


The Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) is one of the leading social care research groups in the world, and has contributed in many ways to the development of national and local policies and frontline practice in the UK and elsewhere. Directed by Professor Martin Knapp, PSSRU at LSE carries out policy analysis, research and consultancy in the UK and abroad. The Unit's current research themes focus around children and young people's services, dementia, long-term care, mental health economics and policy, social care service evaluation and economics, and unpaid care. Find out more at: