Today kicks off an incredibly important event here in Canada: the Global Dementia Legacy Event in Ottawa. Co-hosted by the Government of Canada and the Government of France, this event serves as one of four events happening this year to bring together international dementia experts to work on tackling dementia. This Canada-France Legacy event falls at an especially timely moment, as September marks World Alzheimer’s Month.
Approximately 180 academic, industry, policy, and patient advocacy leaders will come together in Ottawa to look for concrete, practical ways to fast-track new and innovative approaches to Alzheimer’s. This event will focus on developing an action framework to overcome current challenges and barriers for enhancing collaboration between researchers and industry. As Canadian Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose put it, this event will be held in the “spirit of continuous international collaboration and knowledge exchange.”
The motivation behind working together to compress the Alzheimer’s research and development timelines is clear. An estimated 500,000 Canadians have Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and, as our population ages, this number will likely increase dramatically. Globally, the prevalence of dementia will almost double every 20 years, eventually reaching 115 million people by 2050.
The importance of forging new partnerships to combat this tough global health challenge can’t be understated. As my colleague explained over on LillyPad US, sharing our knowledge and working together to tackle this disease increases the likelihood of success in moving biological discoveries into actual treatments that will benefit millions of people worldwide.
In this case, the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Combining our knowledge at events like the Global Dementia Legacy Event gives the global health community the best fighting chance to beat Alzheimer’s once and for all with early diagnostics, treatments, and one day a cure.
Watch this exciting global event live here and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #globaldementia.