In July 2009, the European Commission presented a Communication on a European initiative on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias (COM(2009) 380 final).
The objective of this European initiative is to tackle the main problems posed by Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in four key areas:
- acting early to diagnose dementia and to reduce the risk of dementia in the first place;
- improving research coordination between EU countries;
- sharing of best practice; and
- providing a forum to reflect on rights, autonomy and dignity of patients.
Then EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said: " Losing mental capacity to dementia is not just a normal part of getting older. As the European population ages, we must work together to better understand and prevent these conditions. We must show our solidarity to people with dementia by sharing best practice in caring for them and respecting their rights and dignity."
This Communication was a crucial in the development of the Joint Programming on Neurodegenerative Diseases and the first Joint Action on Dementia (ALCOVE).
The Communication, as well as an analysis paper by Alzheimer Europe, can be downloaded below.