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AE holds a lunch debate on the European Dementia Monitor

Tuesday 03 December 2013

On 3 December, Joseph Cuschieri, MEP (Malta) and member of the European Alzheimer's Alliance, hosted an Alzheimer Europe lunch debate dedicated to the development of AE’s European Dementia Monitor.

Mr. Cuschieri welcomed the participants and pointed out that dementia is a challenge for all EU Member States: over seven million Europeans live with dementia and there are some 21 million informal carers. He also said that it is imperative to address both the stigma associated with the disease and the fact that the treatment and care of people with dementia differs between EU Member States.

MEP Cuschieri was followed by Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe. Mr. Georges gave a presentation on AE’s European Dementia Monitor (EDM), which is a benchmark of national dementia policies in 33 European countries. The monitor presents simple information in an easily accessible format, comparing the prevalence of dementia, diagnostic guidelines and infrastructure, availability of medicines, access to clinical trials and care availability.

The EDM is based on data from existing and trust-worthy sources, mainly Alzheimer Europe member associations. The comparison of data from different countries is often challenging but the EDM overcomes this by using a point system to present results in a simple and clear table. Preliminary results show a wide range of differences between European countries, meaning that shortcomings can be identified. Mr. Georges said that this would be a priority for Alzheimer Europe in 2014 and that the findings will be published in a scientific journal.

There were 40 participants at the lunch debate, including MEPs Anneli Jäätteenmäki (Finland) and Marina Yannakoudakis (UK), while Sirpa Pietikäinen (Finland) was represented by her assistant. Other participants included representatives from the European Commission, the pharmaceutical industry and eight member associations of Alzheimer Europe.