Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Global Efforts To Address Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Importance Of Data Collection, Sharing

The Lancet: Dementia burden coming into focus
Editorial Board

“WHO announced the launch of the Global Dementia Observatory (GDO) on Dec 7. This new internet-focused platform aims to provide a constant monitoring service for data relating to dementia planning around the world. … Dementia is a problem that requires a swift worldwide response. The WHO Global Action Plan on the Public Health Response to Dementia (2017-25) lays out the framework for action, but the warning signs are growing ever stronger, with an aging population projected to include 152 million people with dementia by 2050. … As our Commission on Dementia, Prevention, and Care said earlier in 2017: ‘Dementia is not an inevitable consequence of aging.’ The Commission found 35 percent of dementia cases can be prevented by acting on nine modifiable risk factors. Worldwide attention must be focused on these, with extra support extended to low-income countries. The GDO is a good vehicle for extending this support, but it is vital that all countries play their part in tackling a truly global problem” (12/16).

Financial Times: Bill Gates: We must share data to fight Alzheimer’s
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…I’m optimistic that we can substantially reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s. There are a number of areas where we can make significant progress. To start, we could enable faster progress on all fronts of the Alzheimer’s fight by facilitating more data-sharing. … For one thing, compiling these data might show us how the disease progresses. … Here’s another benefit: by analyzing data from large populations, we will probably be able to identify patients at risk earlier. … Large data sets will also make it easier to identify new targets for treatment. … The clinical trial process is another area that will benefit from data. … Data have already transformed our lives for the better in so many ways, from spotting a fraudulent purchase on your credit card to adjusting traffic lights so that you spend less time sitting in traffic. I can’t wait to see what new discoveries will be made in the fight against Alzheimer’s thanks to the power of data” (12/14).