Global Coalition on Aging releases first dementia treatment innovation report

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and Alzheimer’s Disease International have released the first report to compile best practices in dementia treatment and prevention across the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States).

The Dementia Innovation Readiness Index is meant to be a snapshot of the global efforts to treat the disease as well as a country’s willing ness to foster an environment of collaboration, innovation and sustainable progress, including payment systems.

The index scored each country on 10 categories, with a total of 60 indicators:

  • Strategy & Commitment
  • Government Funding
  • Education & Workforce
  • Early Detection and Diagnosis
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Access to Care
  • Prevention & Risk Reduction
  • Business Environment
  • Care Standards
  • Built Environment

Topping the list of the strongest approaches to disease treatment and prevention are the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany, highlighted by these countries’ care coordination efforts, investments in research and sustainable payment systems, the report notes.

The United States ranks 5th overall among the G7, encumbered by its payment systems and a lack of training and care coordination at the caregiver levels. The United States received higher than average points for having a national dementia action plan and initiatives to fund research and having a patient-centered approach to medication and treatment reviews. However, the country fared lower than average on several indicators, including the availability of geriatric-specific training programs, the integration of social workers and paraprofessionals into dementia care and sufficient training for general practitioners to recognize and diagnose dementia.

The best prevention approach belongs to Canada—a country that attacks the disease as a public health crisis. Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States are showing good progress, but about half the G7 countries are really struggling with dementia risk reduction efforst.

“Alzheimer’s and other dementias will become the financial—as well as the health—nightmare of our generation if we continue with status quo,” said Michael Hodin, Executive Director, GCOA, in a press release about the report. “Regulators must step up to define meaningful endpoints and encourage early detection and diagnosis and recruitment into clinical trials. Political and institutional leaders must champion the issue to give it the attention it deserves. Governments must ensure that businesses are allowed, encouraged and incentivized to drive innovation. The solutions won’t be achieved overnight, but the time to commit to innovation is now.”

The index formally launched at the 32nd International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International in Kyoto, Japan.

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia