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Brain Experts Convene in Cape Town to Discuss Emerging Research and Local Applications of Brain Science and Dementia Risk Reduction

Brain Experts Convene in Cape Town to Discuss Emerging Research and Local Applications of Brain Science and Dementia Risk Reduction
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May 15, 2024
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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 15, 2024 — Leading dementia scientists, clinicians and health professionals from around the world will gather in Cape Town, South Africa and online May 15-16 for the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) Satellite Symposium, co-hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association, Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) and the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health.

At the Symposium, African and international leaders will discuss the latest dementia science research and how advances in public health, diagnosis and treatment can be applied in Africa and around the world.

“The Alzheimer’s Association and GBHI are committed to global research initiatives such as the AAIC Satellite Symposium to support research and clinical practice that meets the unique cultural, demographic and economic realities of individual countries,” said Maria C. Carrillo, Ph.D., Alzheimer’s Association chief science officer and medical affairs lead. “This collaboration across international borders is critical to address gaps in research in ways that support our mutual goal of discovering better methods of early diagnosis, treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s and all other dementia.”

Dementia is a growing global health crisis. According to the Alzheimer’s Disease International World Alzheimer Report, 55 million people worldwide have dementia, and every three seconds, someone develops dementia. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, an estimated 2.1 million people are living with dementia. Dementia is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide.

“This symposium serves as a vital platform for African and international brain experts to come together, helping ensure that we harness global insights and foster collaborative efforts in combating dementia,” said Tracey Naledi, Ph.D., deputy dean of health services at the University of Cape Town.

“As the first AAIC Satellite Symposium to be held in Africa, it goes beyond sharing new research. It represents an important step and a commitment to understanding Africa's unique health challenges, to reducing disparities and stigma, and to advancing values-based brain health leadership in the region,” added Naledi, who is also co-chair of the Symposium’s scientific program committee and a member of the GBHI governing board.

The AAIC Satellite Symposium will host discussions on regional challenges such as stigma, detection, diagnosis and caregiving, as well as developments in clinical research, the role of care and non-pharmacological interventions in Alzheimer’s and other dementias, epidemiology, advances in biomarkers, and emerging areas of investigation.

In addition to a plenary session on the landscape of Alzheimer’s and dementia research in Africa, the two-day Symposium will include abstract presentations, panel sessions and Lightning Presentations featuring leading international researchers on:
  • National dementia plans and culturally relevant approaches to care.
  • Basic science landscape and techniques.
  • Capacity building in Africa.
  • Genetic diversity and environmental factors in Africa.
  • Interventions to promote brain health in Africa.
The Alzheimer’s Association is committed to supporting global research initiatives through convening, funding and advocating on behalf of the international research community. The Alzheimer’s Association offers year-round opportunities for the scientific community to network and learn about Alzheimer’s and dementia research, including the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC), the largest and most influential meeting in Alzheimer's and dementia science.

The in-person conference will be held at the Westin Cape Town; virtual/online attendance is also an option. This is the fifth AAIC Satellite Symposium hosted by the Alzheimer’s Association and GBHI. These regional meetings take the key elements of the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference around the globe to invigorate international collaborations, and have been held in Mexico, Argentina, Bulgaria, India, Brazil and Australia.

About the Alzheimer's Association

The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer's and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's and all other dementia®. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

About the Global Brain Health Institute

The Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) is a leader in the global community dedicated to protecting the world’s aging populations from threats to brain health. GBHI works to reduce the scale and impact of dementia in three ways, by training and connecting the next generation of leaders in brain health through the Atlantic Fellows for Equity in Brain Health program; by collaborating in expanding preventions and interventions, by sharing knowledge and engaging in advocacy. Visit

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