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Public Health Priorities

Paris Declaration - 2006

1. In 2006, close to 5.4 million citizens in the European Union are living with Alzheimer's disease or another form of dementia[1]. With the ageing of the populations in all the Member States of the European Union, these numbers are set to increase and researchers have predicted a doubling of these figures by 2040 in Western Europe and a trebling of these figures in Eastern Europe[2].

Alzheimer Europe calls upon the European Union, the World Health Organisation and national governments to recognise Alzheimer's disease as a major public health issue and develop European and international programmes as well as national action plans to adequately respond to the challenges posed by the growing numbers of people with dementia.

2. In 1996 and 1998, the European Parliament dedicated two resolutions[3] to Alzheimer's disease in which it stressed the public health implications of an ageing population and the increase in numbers of people affected by Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. The call for action of the European Parliament expressed in these two resolutions has largely gone unanswered.

Alzheimer Europe calls upon the European Parliament to dedicate a report to Alzheimer's disease outlining the progress achieved since the adoption of its resolutions as well as the priorities for Community action in the coming years.

Alzheimer Europe calls upon the European institutions to recognise Alzheimer's disease as a major health scourge within the meaning of Article 152 of the EC Treaty and to develop a Community action programme on Alzheimer's disease.

3. In its 1996 resolution, the European Parliament welcomed and supported "Alzheimer Europe and other European associations who care for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease and their families". Since then, Alzheimer Europe has been actively promoting the collaboration between national Alzheimer associations and has carried out a number of successful trans-European projects. Despite this proven track record and various calls by the European Parliament, the funding of specific Alzheimer's projects has been discontinued.

Alzheimer Europe calls upon the European institutions to investigate the possibility of providing core funding to the organisation for the exchange of information and best practices between national Alzheimer associations and the development of pan-European projects.

[1] Alzheimer Europe calculated the numbers of people living with dementia by using the EURODEM prevalence rates [Hofman, A. et al. (1991), The prevalence of dementia in Europe: a collaborative study of 1980-1990 findings, International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 20, No.3, pages 736-748] and combining them with the population statistics provided by Eurostat (the official statistics office of the European Union).

[2] C.P. Ferri et al (2005), Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study, Lancet 2005; 336: 2112-17.

[3] Resolution of 17/04/1996 on Alzheimer's disease and the prevention of disorders of the cognitive functions in the elderly and Resolution of 11/03/1998 on Alzheimer's disease.



Last Updated: Wednesday 01 July 2009