It is with great pleasure that we introduce the 41st edition of our Dementia in Europe magazine. The latter part of 2022 was full of activity and the beginning of 2023 has continued apace! We open the Alzheimer Europe section by recounting our European Parliament lunch debate held in September 2022, which examined the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in dementia research. We are incredibly grateful to Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland) for chairing the session. Alzheimer Europe has recently launched a number of important publications, which are presented in the following two articles. The first of these is the Dementia in Europe Yearbook 2022, which focused on employment and social protection for people with dementia and their carers. The second article looks at the two new guides which have been produced, one on ethical and respectful communication about dementia and the other on sex, gender and sexuality in the context of dementia. The 32nd Alzheimer Europe Conference (32AEC) in Bucharest, Romania, saw many changes for our organisation, which we cover in the following articles.
Firstly, we introduce the new Alzheimer Europe Board, after which I share my thoughts on the future of the organisation as its new Chairperson, and then we present the new European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD) for the 2022-2024 term. The collaboration between Alzheimer Europe and Roche for World Alzheimer’s Day is the subject of our next article, looking at the “What makes you, you” campaign. Still on the theme of collaboration, the new year brings three new projects: ADIS, eBRAIN-Health and PatternCog, in which Alzheimer Europe is delighted to be involved. We wrap up this section by looking at the winners and runners up of our inaugural Anti-Stigma Award, presented at 32AEC, with their inspiring work to lessen the stigma associated with dementia. Moving to the Policy Watch section, we are delighted to feature an interview with the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, on the European Care Strategy and what this means for people living with dementia and carers. We are also pleased to share an interview with the former President of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, with whom our colleagues in Spomincica - Alzheimer Slovenija worked closely to prioritise dementia as a political matter and to make progress on a new dementia strategy.
At a European level, we report on the European Day of Persons with Disabilities conference, hosted by the European Commission and the European Disability Forum, in which Alzheimer Europe was delighted to participate, together with a number of members of the EWGPWD. We then hear from colleagues in the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe on their ongoing work on mental health and dedicated work-stream on older person’s mental health, whilst colleagues from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) share views on key areas for the future of dementia policy from diagnosis to end-of-life. In the final article of the section, we hear from the Hague Convention following their recent Special Commission on the Convention for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults. We open the Dementia in Society section with an interview with the Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, who recently signed a charter pledging that the city will become dementia friendly – a most welcome development, especially since Brussels is the capital of Europe, the headquarters of the European institutions and also the location of many Alzheimer Europe meetings! In the following article, Ukrainian charity Nezabutni (“Unforgettable”), a new member of the Alzheimer Europe family, shares details of the ongoing challenges faced by persons living with dementia, as a consequence of the Russia’s invasion of the country and the changes the charity has made in incredibly difficult circumstances and how they continue to offer support in the most difficult circumstances.
Our next article examines the recent research developments in disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease. We interviewed Nicolas Villain, who has published two reviews on anti-amyloid immunotherapies, and asked three other experts in the field for their perspectives on the recent phase III results of lecanemab. From there we move on to the Older Adults Mental Health Awareness week, coordinated by the International Psychogeriatric Association, which included the perspective of a person living with dementia, input from Alzheimer associations, as well as the involvement of the Chair of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance, Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (Finland). In the final article in this section, Kevin Quaid, Vice-Chairperson of the EWGPWD, tells us about how living with Lewy body dementia has impacted on his sleep. In the final section, we revisit our Annual Conference, 32AEC, in Bucharest, Romania, including the plenary sessions, special symposia and the involvement of the INTERDEM network. It was wonderful to be able to attend the conference in person after two years of online conferences. We hope you enjoy reading our magazine! Alzheimer Europe is grateful for the support of its corporate sponsors, without whom the Dementia in Europe magazine would not be possible. You can download the 41st edition of our magazine, here:
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