On 27 February, our partner Alzheimer Europe (AE) held a successful lunch debate entitled “Will we be able to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia” at the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium). The lunch debate focused on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia through three key presentations.
The panel included a presentation by the European Prevention of Alzheimer’s dementia (EPAD) initiative. The EPAD Co-Coordinator Craig Ritchie (pictured), Director of the Centre for Dementia Prevention (Edinburgh, United Kingdom), looked at what the EPAD project can offer in terms of research into prevention. He also presented the progress being done by our project partners to build an European clinical trial platform to prevent Alzheimer’s dementia.
The prevention panel also included both speakers Kate Irving, Professor of Clinical Nursing at Dublin City University, (Ireland) and Edo Richard, Neurologist at the Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam and Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen (The Netherlands). Kate Irving spoke about reducing the risk of dementia by targeting modifiable risk factors in mid-life and about the lessons from the In-MINDD project, which promotes long term brain health and prevention to at least delay the onset of dementia. Edo Richard presented the European Dementia Prevention Initiative (EDPI), a project connecting European researchers and dementia projects.
The lunch debate looked at the potential for interventions in the earlier stages of dementia and dementia prevention. Several key research programmes of dementia prevention including EPAD are financed by European initiatives, illustrating the importance of addressing this field at European level. One of the highlights of the discussion was the agreement of all speakers that more could and should be done in the area of dementia prevention.
EPAD was delighted to have been involved in this lunch debate which brought together over 50 people including Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) Heinz K. Becker (Austria), Deirdre Clune (Ireland), Marian Harkin (Ireland), Rory Palmer (UK) and Keith Taylor (UK). All MEPs present or represented are current members of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance (EAA) – a non-exclusive, multinational and cross-party group of MEPs supporting AE and its members in making dementia a public health priority. We were glad to see that prevention is considered as a priority by the Members of the European Parliament.