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Alv Orheim reflects on the 25th Alzheimer Europe conference

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Following Alzheimer Europe’s 25th annual conference (2 to 4 September), Alv Orheim, Norwegian member of the European Working Group of People With Dementia (EWGPWD) wrote his observations and comments:

Having attended the conference in Ljubljana, I understand, and accept, that there is still a long way to go before the mysteries related to cognitive disabilities are resolved. 

On the other hand: I was particularly impressed by the dedication by which the science community is pushing forward. Several teams are working along various routes, and sharing information with each other. Collaboration is the only way forward, and joint efforts are important!

It was also encouraging to meet with many joyful people with similar diagnosis as my own. You are truly a nice bunch of people with whom my wife Berit and I feel at home!

Scientists have no definite answers as to how and when they may offer a definite medical treatment to dementia. And we still do not know what are the causes.

Consequently, no "quick fix" is expected in the near future. However, studies confirm some risk-reducing factors, important to all of us: Physical activity, social involvement and cognitive stimuli may slow down the progression.

At the conference both the members from the European working group and other persons with dementia, including our carers, contributed to the program. Every contribution was well received by the general public. A reception I believe was fully justified. A true confirmation of the fact that we are able to contribute to society every day and stay happy and joyful.