On Dec. 11, members of the G-8 gathered at a summit in London to discuss an international path forward for addressing dementia. Health representatives from the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States made a number of commitments, including the following:
• A goal of finding a cure or disease-modifying therapy for dementia by 2025, which echoes the timeline in the U.S. National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as increasing “collectively and significantly the amount of funding for dementia research to reach that goal.”
• Creating an international research action plan that recognizes the current state of science and describes a strategy for addressing gaps and opportunities.
• Calling for “greater innovation to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers while reducing emotional and financial burden.”
• Sharing information about the research they finance and identifying areas that are priorities for collaboration.
• Promoting open access to publicly funded dementia research where feasible and making the data available for further study as fast as possible, with safeguards for individuals’ privacy and countries’ legal and political frameworks.
• Calling on nongovernmental organizations and institutions to build on efforts across the world to reduce stigma, fear and exclusion.
• Holding a series of forums this year in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Health Organization, European Commission, EU Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Disease and other organizations and institutions.
• Meeting in the United States in February 2015 with other international experts, including OECD and WHO, to go over how far their research agenda has progressed.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.