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France Alzheimer publishes article from reviewers of national strategy

Wednesday 11 November 2020

France Alzheimer has published an article online, authored by the two experts who the French government had tasked with evaluating the country’s Plan maladies neurodégénératives (PMND) 2014-2019 (Neurodegenerative Disease Plan), which concluded in December 2019.The article was written by Alain Grand, a Professor of Public Health at the University of Toulouse and Yves Joanette, a Professor at the University of Montreal. The authors explained that the evaluation report submitted to the French Government in October 2020 contains two sections. The first evaluates the 96 actions contained within the PMND, whilst the second focuses on future actions of the French Government’s future policy response.

As part of the second section, there are five recommendations for the future policy focus in France, including:

  • The tendency in French to avoid using the word “dementia” when referring to cognitive impairment should be discontinued, in alignment with terminologies used by organisations such as the WHO (World Health Organization). As such, the future Plan should focus on “dementia and neurodegenerative disease”
  • The future plan should reflect international consensus around the subject, including drawing on the guidance developed and published by the WHO
  • Care and support should shift towards “functional health”, with a greater focus on prevention and testing, as well as training for all who come into contact with people with dementia, not only clinical professionals
  • Society must adopt a public health approach which goes beyond ageing, helping people with dementia and neurodegenerative conditions to continue to contribute to society, to reduce the stigma people often experience
  • In the absence of a cure for neurodegenerative conditions, there should be a broader focus on research, including prevention, testing and support for diagnosed individuals.

The article concludes by noting that although the COVID-19 pandemic had revealed the weaknesses in the health system, addressing conditions such as dementia and other neurological diseases should not be overlooked. The authors highlight that it is necessary to address the identified issues, for the medium and long term.You can read the full article (in French) here: https://www.francealzheimer.org/lombre-de-la-covid-19-les-maladies-neuro-degeneratives/

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