Dementia in Europe issue 38 published as an e-magazine


It is a great pleasure to introduce the 38th edition of our Dementia in Europe magazine. As ever, we have done our best to fill it with interesting and useful updates on European and national policy developments in the dementia field, campaigns and European research projects, among others. The first section of the magazine looks at some of the key work our organisation has been involved in, in recent months. The opening article recounts the European Parliament Workshop held online in December 2021, which looked at the new Innovative Health Initiative (IHI) and how it will build on the success of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). We then introduce a new European project, the European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases (EPND), and two new Alzheimer Europe publications for 2021, our Yearbook on dementia-inclusive initiatives and communities and our ethics report on sex, gender and sexuality in the context of dementia.

These topics were also explored at two recent sessions of our ever-popular Alzheimer’s Association Academy series. In the last article in this section, we share details of these two Academy sessions, both of which took place online. In the Policy Watch section, we hear first from seven MEPs, all of whom are members of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance, setting out their views on where dementia policy is heading at an EU level in the year ahead and how they will promote it in their role. We also share details of the European Group of Governmental experts on dementia, whose final meeting of 2021 featured presentations from the Global Coalition an Aging (GCOA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) were also present. The WHO’s newly-launched Pan-European Mental Health Coalition is the topic of our next article, while the penultimate one takes on a more global flavour, focusing on the World Dementia Council’s series of “Global Dialogues” held throughout 2021. This section closes with a contribution from our Finnish member, Muistiliitto – The Alzheimer Society of Finland, about their recently-published report highlighting the growing number of people with memory disorders and the corresponding increase in the financial impact on Finnish society.

The Dementia in Society section opens with two interview pieces, with people working in the field of dementia research and care in Europe. The first interview is with outgoing INTERDEM Chairperson Myrra Vernooij Dassen and her successor Marjolein de Vugt, while the next is with Sabine Jansen, who has stepped down from her position as Executive Director of the German Alzheimer association. We also hear from her successor, Saskia Weiss. In the next article, another of our members associations, Alzheimer Portugal, shares details about a recent study on “The cost and burden of Alzheimer’s disease in Portugal” and explores some of the key findings. Member of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD), Stefan Eriksson, spreads his message of hope and resilience to our readership, together with his daughter Janni. They recently took a hiking trip to climb Sweden’s tallest mountain, recording the ups and downs of the trip and how dementia impacted on things, in a video diary. The Davos Alzheimer’s Collaborative, which has been in action for just over a year, aims at mounting a global response to Alzheimer’s. Founding Secretary Drew Holzapfel speaks to us about this initiative, and what it has achieved so far, while the next article in this section takes a rather different turn, exploring ageing and dementia-friendly urban design. Edition 7 of the Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health saw guest editors Daniel Gan and Zdravko Trivic focusing on this topic and they both provide comments, as does Helga Rohra, author of one of the papers included in the journal.

The last article in this section is a piece about the Forget Me Nots, a dementia-inclusive community choir in Ireland, that delegates had the pleasure of hearing at the closing ceremony of the 31st Alzheimer Europe Conference (31AEC). The conference itself is the focus of the fourth and final section of the magazine, “Spotlight on 31AEC”. The event, which was virtual for the second year in a row due to the pandemic, was co-moderated by Kim Coppes from Live Online Events and Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe. It was a great success, with well over 600 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 the ever-popular EWGPWD session. A big thank you to all the contributing authors, interviewees and to our sponsors, who make our magazine possible. You can download the PDF via our website, here: