2021 Highlights

In 2021, Alzheimer Europe:

  • Provided a voice to people with dementia and
    • Involved 14 people with dementia from 12 European countries in its European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD)
    • Organised over 25 virtual meetings of the EWGPWD and consulted the group on its activities and EU-funded projects
    • Organised a symposium on resilience of people with dementia during the COVID-19 pandemic at its Annual Conference
    • Carried out an analysis of public involvement activities in 20 EU-funded projects and provided a report with key findings
  • Made dementia a European priority and 
    • Carried out an anaylsis of the development of dementia-inclusive initiatives and communities and published the findings in the 2021 Dementia in Europe Yearbook “Dementia-inclusive communities and initiatives across Europe”
    • Coordinated and provided the secretariat for the European Group of Governmental Experts on Dementia comprised of national health ministry officials
    • Organised two online meetings of the group to share national experiences and good practices on national dementia strategies and COVID-19 responses which were attended by 26 European countries, as well as observers from the European Commission (DG RTD and DG SANTÉ) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
    • Continued to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the situation of people with dementia and their carers, updated its online inventory of relevant COVID-19 resources contributed to the Commission conference on mental health and COVID-19 and developed recommendations to improve the access of people with dementia to national vaccination strategies
    • Welcomed the adoption of a national dementia strategy in the Czech Republic, the launch of continuing strategies in the Netherlands and Norway and the announcement by the Flemish Government in Belgium that it would launch a new strategy in 2022
    • Included 93 Members of the European Parliament from 26 European Union countries in the European Alzheimer’s Alliance
    • Continued its collaboration as an accredited organisation of the European Medicines Agency and attended the regular meetings of its Patients’ and Consumers’ Working Party
    • Developed its collaboration with the WHO by contributing to ongoing work of the Global Dementia Observatory, meeting with Hans Kluge, the Regional Director of WHO Europe and by attending the launch of the Pan-European Mental Health Coalition.
  • Promoted a rights-based approach to dementia and
    • Focused on the ethical issues related to sex, gender and sexuality in the context of dementia
    • Brought together a group of experts who carried out a literature review, identified recommendations and published its report on “Sex, gender and sexuality in the context of dementia: a discussion paper”
    • Organised an Alzheimer’s Association Academy on sex, gender and sexuality
  • Supported dementia research and 
    • Carried out a mapping exercise of 71 national funding programmes of dementia research from 16 European countries
    • Continued covering research developments via its website and social media
    • Published 11 monthly email newsletters with a total of 543 news articles covering research news, as well as policy developments and activities of Alzheimer Europe, its projects and its members
    • Saw an increase in visitors to its website to 887,685 compared to 698,501 in 2020 
    • Redesigned the Alzheimer Europe website and relaunched the new-look website at the end of November 2021
    • Built on its social media presence and had 8,659 Facebook likes and 12,600 Twitter followers by the end of 2021
    • Organised its second Virtual Annual Conference “Resilience in dementia - moving beyond the COVID-19 pandemic” from 29 November to 1 December 2021 with 620 participants from 38 countries, which featured almost 300 presenters (160 oral presentations, 137 quick oral presentations and 35 poster presentations)
    • Contributed to the communication and dissemination activities of the World Joint Artificial Intelligence Network JAIN
  • Strengthened the European dementia movement and 
    • Developed a new strategic plan for the organisation for the period 2021-2025
    • Brought together representatives of national Alzheimer’s associations for seven online meetings of the Alzheimer’s Association Academy
    • Continued to fully involve the organisation’s Board in the monitoring and evaluation of aéé activities and finances and organised five online meetings of the Alzheimer Europe (February, April, May, September and December)
    • Organised a virtual Annual Meeting of its member organisations in June
    • Continued as a full member of the European Patients’ Forum and the European Disability Forum
    • Helped coordinate a campaign for the continued support of European health NGOS via operating grants from the EU health programme
    • Collaborated with INTERDEM, the European Alzheimer’s Disease Consortium and the European Academy of Neurology
  • Carried out the following project-related activities
    • Continued its involvement in a number of EU-funded projects by representing the views of people with dementia and their carers in the research consortium, by contributing to the ethical discussions and by supporting the communication and dissemination activities towards a non-scientific audience:
      • ADDP (Alzheimer’s Disease Detect and Prevent)
      • AMYPAD (Amyloid imaging to prevent Alzheimer’s disease)
      • EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s Dementia)
      • EU-FINGERS (Multi-modal precision prevention toolbox for dementia in Alzheimer’s disease)
      • Neuronet (Efficiently networking European neurodegeneration research)
      • PRODEMOS (Prevention of Dementia using Mobile phone Applications)
      • RADAR-AD (Remote assessment of disease and relapse – Alzheimer’s disease)
      • RECOGNISED (Retinal and cognitive dysfunction in type 2 diabetes: unravelling the common pathways and identification of patients at risk of dementia)
      • VirtualBrainCloud (Personalised Recommendations for Neurodegenerative Disease)
    • Started its collaboration with 
      • AI-MIND (Artificial Intelligence for Dementia Prevention)
      • EPND (European Platform for Neurodegenerative Diseases)
      • LETHE (A personalised prediction and intervention model for early detection and reduction of risk factors causing dementia, based on AI and distributed Machine Learning)
    • Supported the following EU projects
      • ABOARD (Stopping Alzheimer’s before it starts)
      • ADAIR (Alzheimer's Disease Air Pollution)
      • bPRIDE (blood PRotein ldentification to Discriminate dEmentias)
      • DISTINCT (Dementia: Intersectorial strategy for training and innovation network for current technology)
      • MIRIADE (Multi-omics interdisciplinary research integration to address dementia diagnosis)
      • PRIME (Prevention and Remediation of Insulin Multimorbidity in Europe)
      • SPAN+
    • Developed a number of projects funded thanks to the support of its corporate sponsors and other partners
      • Organised three online European Parliament workshops on “Digital data for dementia research and innovation”, “The Alzheimer’s spectrum: Changing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia” and “The Innovative Health Initiative: building on the success of the Innovative Medicines Initiative 
      • Convened three online company round table meetings bringing together representatives of industry and national Alzheimer’s associations
      • Published three editions of the Dementia in Europe magazine
      • Expanded its Clinical Trials Watch and made dementia-friendly information on 7 phase II and 4 phase III clinical trials conducted in Europe available on its website
      • Developed a discussion paper “Data sharing in dementia research: the EU landscape”, reviewing research policy and legal developments and identifying recommendations to improve data sharing.