The commitments made after the London summit will not be realized without concerted international effort to raise awareness that results in more people living with dementia in the developed and developing world receiving a timely and accurate diagnosis.
The London summit recognized that great innovation is needed to improve the quality of life for people with dementia and their carers and particularly the impact of dementia on women needed to be recognized (both as the majority of people living with dementia and the majority of care givers). The summit recognized the need to increase research and translate it into better care.
We may reduce the risk of cognitive decline through a number of lifestyle interventions. Too many people aren’t aware of how to reduce their risks and science remains insufficient. As technology has improved, many people have smart phones and wearable devices but the power of technology is not yet being used to reduce risk and keep people well.
The London summit recognized that key to making progress on research was to make the research data and results available for further research as quickly as possible and encourage collaborative research. It committed to report biennially on expenditure on publicly funded national dementia research and through mapping research and sharing initiatives on big data it would help realise the goal of a disease modifying treatment by 2025.
The London dementia summit in 2013 hosted by the UK Government during its G8 presidency put dementia on the international agenda and galvanised international efforts to combat dementia, not just among governmental organizations but beyond. Since then the international community has made progress towards meeting the 2025 ambitions. There have been important developments. But international decision makers risk not realizing the 2025 ambitions unless the pace of progress is stepped up.
December 2018 will mark the fifth anniversary of the London summit. Throughout 2018 the World Dementia Council is reviewing what has happened since the 2013 summit in these key areas and identifying key actions needed to accelerate progress. The council will work with experts and industry, academia and governments to build consensus on what actions are needed. The review will focus on four areas where progress can make a significant difference to people living with dementia, today and in the future.