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Dementia in Europe issue 35 published as an e-magazine

Wednesday 24 February 2021

Alzheimer Europe has published a new edition of its “Dementia in Europe” policy magazine, in an electronic format.

The first section of the magazine looks at some of the key work our organisation has been involved in, over the past few months. The opening article recaps the European Parliament Workshop held online in December. We then move on to an overview of the suite of policy and ethics publications that Alzheimer Europe launched in the latter part of 2020. In the following article, we introduce the new European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) and meet its members – we look forward to working with them during their term!

Turning to research projects in which Alzheimer Europe has been involved, the co-leads of the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia (EPAD) project, Craig Ritchie and Serge Van der Geyten, reflect on the achievements of the project as it reaches its conclusion. We then hear from the leads of the recently-finished Patients Active in Research and Dialogues for an Improved Generation of Medicines (PARADIGM) project, Nicola Bedlington and Magda Chlebus. A brief update on the launch of the Neuronet Knowledge Base follows and finally, we hear from Charlotte van Corven about the SPAN+ project, which focuses on empowering people with dementia.

In the Policy Watch section, we are delighted to have an interview with the Norwegian Minister for Health and Care Services, Bent Høie, who introduces the country’s new dementia strategy, whilst Secretary General for the Norwegian Health Association (Nasjonalforeningen for folkehelsen), Mina Gerhardsen, shares her reflections on this important development. We are then pleased to present an interview with French Minister for Solidarity and Health, Olivier Véran, who outlines the future of dementia policy in France, with President of France Alzheimer, Joël Jaouen, providing his organisation’s perspective. Staying at the national level, Avril Easton from The Alzheimer Society of Ireland discusses the organisation’s campaign in the lead-up to the Irish budget and shares their success in securing additional funding for dementia services.

At a European level, Alzheimer Europe presents some of the latest developments in EU policy, examining the future budget of the EU and the implications for health and research policies. In addition, we summarise the latest meeting of the European Group of Governmental Experts on Dementia, which met online in December 2020, to discuss recent dementia policy developments across Europe.

The Dementia in Society section opens with a focus on COVID-19, with members of the EWGPWD writing about how the measures to control the spread of the virus have affected them. This is followed by an article in which our member associations outline how the human rights of people with dementia and their carers have been affected during the pandemic, in their respective countries.

As part of our work supported by Gates Ventures, Alzheimer Europe Project Officer Angela Bradshaw shares insights into the perspectives of research participants and patients, on data sharing, highlighting some of their key concerns. Following this, Alzheimer Europe spoke to six early stage researchers (ESRs) working on two EU-funded research projects, to gain a better understanding of what drew them to the field of dementia research and to ask how COVID is affecting their work. We then go “Behind the Headlines”, with Alzheimer Europe Project Officer Cindy Birck and Tobias Hartmann of the European LipiDiDiet project, to examine the effect of a multinutrient intervention (Souvenaid) on cognitive and functional decline in early Alzheimer’s disease.

The last article in this section is our “Dementia in the Arts” feature in which we speak to Gina Martin, Founder and Executive Director of the Bob and Diane Fund, who shares her motivation for creating this annual photography award for visual storytelling about Alzheimer's and dementia. She also discusses the winning project for 2020.

To round off this edition of the magazine, we take a look back at the 30th Alzheimer Europe Conference (#30AEC), which was held virtually for the very first time, in October 2020. The event was co-moderated by Kim Coppes from Live Online Events, and Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe. Despite the unusual circumstances, the conference was a great success, with almost 800 participants, from 42 countries, as well as 260 speakers and 100 poster presentations. In this section, we revisit some of the key presentations, and special sessions. We also summarise the symposia held during the event, including those organised by the EWGPWD, and the Neuronet and VirtualBrainCloud projects.

You can download the PDF, here: http://bit.ly/DementiaInEurope35

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