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Dementia in Europe issue 36 published as an e-magazine

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Alzheimer Europe has published a new edition of its “Dementia in Europe” policy magazine, in an electronic format. It highlights our efforts and those of our member associations to make dementia a European priority, and provides updates on the latest national- and European-level policy developments in the dementia field.

The first section of the magazine includes coverage of the online European Parliament workshop we co-hosted earlier this year with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. At the event, which was chaired by Deirdre Clune, MEP and explored the theme of “Digital data for dementia research and innovation”, we launched a report setting out recommendations to improve data sharing in dementia research. We recently published a position paper, also, on the importance of prioritising people with dementia and carers in COVID-19 vaccination programmes, and have dedicated an article to this topic. Other articles in this section share details of a recent Alzheimer’s Association Academy online event about sports and dementia, as well as our involvement in three different European research projects. In the Policy Watch section, we are delighted to have an interview with EU Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, who introduces the EU’s new disability rights strategy.

At the national level, we speak to the Coordinator for the Czech Republic’s new National Action Plan for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Illnesses 2020-2030, Marketa Švejdová Jandová and to Martina Mátlová, Director of the Czech Alzheimer Society, who shares her organisation’s views on this, the country’s second dementia plan. From the Czech Republic, we head to the Netherlands, where a fourth national dementia strategy has been launched. Anne de Boer, Advocacy Officer at Alzheimer Nederland, examines the strategy from her organisation’s perspective. Ms De Boer also discusses some of the issues surrounding voting for people with dementia in her country, in the Dementia in Society section of this magazine, and highlights some of the work Alzheimer Nederland has been doing to support them in exercising their democratic rights.

Alzheimer Scotland’s Director of Policy and Research, Jim Pearson, then provides an update on the organisation’s Fair Dementia Care Campaign and how this formed the basis of their recent Scottish Parliament Election Pledge Campaign, which sought the support of candidates standing in the Scottish Parliamentary election in May. Finally, at the national level, Mario Possenti, Secretary General of Federazione Alzheimer Italia, highlights the recent commitment from the Italian Government to provide funding for the country’s National Dementia Plan, which was first launched in 2014. At a global level, the World Health Organization (WHO) is in the process of developing an “Intersectional global action plan on epilepsy and other neurological disorders”, which is discussed in the closing article of the policy watch section of this magazine, by Stéfanie Freel and Katrin Seeher of the WHO.

The third and final section in this edition is the Dementia in Society section, which opens with two articles by members of our European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD). Each explores aspects of life during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In the first, Helen Rochford-Brennan shares her experience as a person living with young-onset dementia, dealing with bereavement during the pandemic, following the loss of her husband. Petri Lampinen then tells readers what it has been like for him, living with frontotemporal dementia during lockdown and some of the difficulties he faced as well as methods he uses to counter them.

Up next, we hear from a researcher on the MOPEAD (Models of Patient Engagement for Alzheimer’s Disease) project, Lena Sanneman, who was interviewed by the Neuronet initiative (Efficiently Networking European Neurodegeneration Research), as part of its series of interviews with Early Career Researchers. One of the expert speakers at our previously-mentioned Alzheimer’s Association Academy online event on sports and dementia, Renato Walkowiak, shares details of the “Ping4Alzheimer” initiative which involves giving special table tennis sessions for people with dementia and carers, while a second speaker at the event, Professor Michael Hornberger, rounds off the 36th edition of our magazine with an in-depth look at the link between contact sports-related head injuries and dementia. A big thank you to all the contributing authors, interviewees and to our sponsors, who make our magazine possible.

You can download the PDF, here: http://bit.ly/DementiaInEurope36

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