G8 health leaders agree action plan to tackle the global dementia challenge

Categories: Policy.

Alzheimer’s Disease International estimate that 44 million people are now living with dementia worldwide, with this set to increase to 76 million by 2030 and 135 million by 2050.

Speaking at the Summit, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re in London or Los Angeles, in rural India or urban Japan – dementia steals lives, it wrecks families, it breaks hearts and that is why all of us here are so utterly determined to beat it.

“In generations past, the world came together to take on the great killers. We stood against malaria, cancer, HIV and AIDS and we are just as resolute today. I want December 11th 2013 to go down as the day that the global fight-back began.”

Following the summit, the G8 countries have agreed to:

  • identify a cure or a disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025 – backed by a commitment to together significantly increase the amount spent on dementia research and increase the number of people involved in clinical trials and studies
  • appoint a new Global Envoy for Dementia Innovation to bring together international expertise to stimulate innovation and co-ordinate international efforts to attract new sources of finance to support global dementia innovation
  • develop an international action plan for research – in particular to identify current gaps and how to fill them
  • share information and data from dementia research studies across the G8 countries to work together and get the best return on investment in research
  • encourage open access to all publicly-funded dementia research to make data and results available for further research as quickly as possible.

Alzheimer’s Society, a UK charity who yesterday announced plans to invest £100 million in dementia research over the next decade, welcomed the Prime Minister’s commitment to “narrow the funding gap between dementia and cancer research”. A spokesperson from the charity said: “Dementia has come out of the shadows and is centre stage – but we must ensure G8 has a lasting legacy. The governments have all committed to updating progress on research biannually, but every month counts for the millions of people living with dementia worldwide.”

Read more on the BBC News website.