Worldwide, an estimated 47 million people are living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. That number is expected to grow to 131.5 million by 2050. Nations across the globe are uniting against Alzheimer’s and coordinating an international response to the mounting dementia crisis.
The time to act is now. Every four seconds another person in the world is diagnosed with dementia. It will truly take a global effort to ensure a world without Alzheimer’s.
Looking for global – and country-specific – resources for those with the disease, their families and caregivers? Visit our global resources page at alz.org/global.
Globally, 26 countries have drafted and adopted a national plan to address Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. These plans elevate Alzheimer’s as a national priority and provide the framework for overcoming this growing epidemic.
National plans vary significantly country-to-country, tailoring the framework to meet the needs of their own unique populations. Nonetheless, they all coordinate across governmental agencies, outline treatment and care recommendations, and often, provide an accountability mechanism for reporting on progress and setbacks. They commit a country to take action against Alzheimer’s and provide the guidance and recommendations to do so.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is the federation of international Alzheimer’s associations and societies. The Alzheimer’s Association helped to create ADI 30 years ago. Now with over 80 member countries on six continents, ADI focuses global attention on the growing dementia epidemic while campaigning for policy change from national governments and the World Health Organization. ADI works to raise international awareness, develop dementia-capable countries, and improve the quality of life for people living with dementia around the world.
The following countries have adopted a national plan to address Alzheimer’s:
|2006:||South Korea||United States|
Many other countries across the globe are currently working on
their own response to Alzheimer’s disease. For additional information and specific countries’ plans, see Government Alzheimer’s Plans on the ADI web site.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) held the first Ministerial Conference on Global Action Against Dementia in Geneva, Switzerland. Representatives from 89 countries — including dementia researchers, clinicians, and policy advocates — spent two days discussing how to collectively combat worldwide dementia leading to an 11-point Call for Action. The Call for Action encourages the WHO and all nations to increase public awareness of dementia, build capacity for early identification and timely diagnosis, increase global efforts on dementia research, and strengthen services and supports for people living with dementia and their families.
The Ministerial Conference followed the 2012 WHO publication of Dementia: A Public Health Priority, a comprehensive snapshot of the global dementia burden. The report calls on the public health community to address dementia on both the international and national levels by developing national dementia plans, improving early diagnosis, increasing public awareness while reducing stigma, and enhancing the quality of life for those living with dementia and their caregivers.
Read the WHO Call for Action.
Read more about the WHO Conference and the Meeting Report.
View presentation to WHO by Alzheimer’s Association president and chief executive officer Harry Johns.
Read the WHO report, Dementia: A Public Health Priority.
In October 2015, the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) – the WHO regional office for North and South America – became the first world region to adopt a comprehensive strategy and plan to address the burden of dementia. The Strategy and Plan of Action on Dementia in Older Persons outlines specific actions to improve or expand care for older people with dementia, prevent or delay functional decline and dependence, and increase dementia research.
Read the PAHO press release.
Read the PAHO report, Strategy and Plan of Action on Dementia in Older Persons.
In December 2013, the G8 nations convened in London for the G8 Summit on Dementia. Experts from around the world gathered to begin an international conversation on tackling the global dementia crisis and provide a structure for a worldwide response. This meeting was the first time a health care issue was the subject of a G8 Summit, underscoring the importance of addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
The G8 nations agreed to work together to:
- Identify a cure or treatment by 2025
- Increase “collectively and significantly” the funding for dementia research
- Share data and research internationally
- Develop a coordinated action plan for future Alzheimer’s and dementia research
The G8 Summit on Dementia kicked off a yearlong global effort to address dementia, highlighted by a series of legacy events that continued to shape a coordinated, worldwide response.
- Innovative Funding Models (London, England) – increasing the investment in Alzheimer’s and dementia research.
- Academia-Industry Collaboration (Ottawa, Canada) – enhancing the collaboration between academic researchers and private industry. Learn more.
- Care and Prevention Models (Tokyo, Japan) – improving Alzheimer’s and dementia care and support. Learn more.
- Research Progress (Washington, D.C., United States) – updating the progress on Alzheimer’s and dementia research. Learn more.
World Dementia Council
The World Dementia Council is an independent, worldwide coalition that seeks to lead and coordinate global efforts to tackle dementia, ensure international collaboration, and galvanize action against dementia all over the world. Originally created by the G8 nations at the 2013 G8 Summit, the World Dementia Council has five priority areas of focus: increasing the global funding dedicated to dementia research; sharing and disseminating research data across countries; reducing the regulatory barriers to developing new treatments; establishing international standards for quality dementia care services and supports; and reducing the risk of developing dementia.
The Council has 23 members, representing researchers, advocates, business owners, public health officials, scientists, economists and people living with the disease. Dr. Yves Joanette, Scientific Director of the Institute of Aging for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, serves as chair of the Council and Raj Long, Senior Advisor at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, serves as vice-chair. Harry Johns, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association, is a member of the Council.back to top
In 2011, the United Nations (UN) adopted a political declaration to address the growing worldwide burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD). NCDs – such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer – are the leading cause of death worldwide. The declaration urges countries to develop national NCD prevention plans, reduce risk factors and social determinants for NCDs, and strengthen the capacity for research and development.
|“. . . mental and neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, are an important cause of morbidity and contribute to the global NCD burden for which there is a need to provide equitable access to effective programmes and health care interventions.”
—UN Political Declaration on NCDs
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