This blog post is authored by Jean Georges, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe
As World Alzheimer’s Month is coming to an end, Alzheimer Europe and the German Alzheimer’s association are getting ready to welcome close to 750 participants from 43 countries to our Annual Conference in Berlin (2-4 October 2017). Under the motto “Care today, cure tomorrow”, we want to focus on the two-pronged approach necessary to address the public health challenge posed by dementia. On the one hand, our event will focus on the exciting ongoing research programmes aiming at finding treatments and interventions to prevent or delay the onset of dementia. On the other hand, we are all too aware of the importance of providing concrete solutions to the people currently living with dementia on how improve their quality of life, support and care.
In my opinion, Alzheimer Europe conferences are truly unique networking events as they bring together all stakeholders: people with dementia and their carers, representatives and staff of national Alzheimer associations, health and care professionals, researchers, academics and EU and national policy makers. The exchanges between the participants are incredibly lively during the presentations, but equally during the coffee and lunch breaks as well as via social media. Last year in Copenhagen, over 1,000 people used our hashtag and we were able to get over 20 million impressions during the conference days. So do not miss out on this great social media debate and join the discussion at #27AEC.
I am delighted as well that more and more researchers choose our conferences to showcase their projects and this year’s conference will be no exception. The PredictND project, funded under the Horizon2020 programme, will present a software tool which aims to support professionals in their diagnosis and clinical decision making. A lunch time symposium coordinated by Lilly which I will have the privilege to moderate will look at how Alzheimer associations can contribute more effectively in a number of projects such as MOPEAD (Models of Patient engagement in Alzheimer’s disease), EPAD (European Prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia) and ROADMAP (Real world outcomes across the Alzheimer’s disease spectrum for better care: multi-modal data access platform).
At the end of the conference, a round table discussion will involve a number of researchers to discuss the current and future research priorities. I sincerely hope that everyone present will agree with the need for higher investment in dementia research, greater collaboration and coordination at EU and global level and a holistic approach to dementia research prioritising both care and cure approaches.