Coming up soon: Panel on new approaches in challenging dementia care, World Health Summit 2017, October 15
Progress and dementia poses a paradox: providing growing insights into pathophysiology but not a single disease modifying drug. The current reductionist approach needs to be complemented by an understanding of complex systems and the most powerful determinant of cognitive impairment, namely aging.
Most of our understanding of dementia derives from studies of Western populations that may differ from other populations, not only culturally but genetically and biologically. Dementia, although a global problem, manifests differently in different parts of the world.
The Global World Council does recognize this and as the highest coordinating body in the fight against dementia, encompasses a diverse, comprehensive portfolio and clear priorities. One of the immediate priorities is to act on the growing evidence that by preventing stroke we can also prevent some dementias, since stroke doubles the chances of developing dementia. All the major organizations dealing with stroke and dementia have endorsed the joint prevention and this approach offers a real possibility to do something about it now.
With current knowledge, we are at the cusp of a transformational change of our approach to the two greatest threats to the brain, stroke and dementia.