The Dutch health minister has called for a global strategy to deal with dementia at a meeting of world experts in Japan.
Hugo De Jonge likened the growth in this group of neurological conditions to the epidemic of HIV and Aids in the 1980s and urged countries around the world to invest in research he told a World Dementia Council summit in Toyko, Japan.
‘A huge sense of urgency arose for international cooperation in HIV/Aids research… ‘Today, we are on the verge of another epidemic. One that is quite different. This time, it is not young men who are the victims, but mainly older, vulnerable people. This time, it is not a disease that attacks our immune systems, but our brain, our memory, our personality, ourselves.’
Citing research from Alzheimer’s Disease International, De Jonge said that if everyone diagnosed with dementia across the world lived in one place, it would be as populous as Spain – the 28th largest country in the world. De Jonge will call for other G20 countries to invest more in dementia research at a meeting in Japan this weekend, inviting them to a conference in the Netherlands next year to talk about global co-operation.