December 11 2013
photo by Reuters/Stefan Rousseau
The Group of 8 industrial nations is convening a special session today (Dec. 11) to seek an international approach to dementia research at a time the disease is being recognized as a 21st century global health crisis of historic proportions.
The G8's dementia summit is an important first step toward a coordinated international response to a growing health crisis that, if left unchecked, will extract an unprecedented toll in human suffering and devastate the budgets of families, communities, and health systems worldwide in the coming years.
As important as the summit will be in drawing attention to dementia and its impacts on lives and budgets, more needs to be done. Government and private interests need to recognize that dementia poses a threat not just to its victims, but to health care systems and economies as well. Given the extent of dementia's impact, the level of investment in research on cures for the long term and on dealing with the fallout in the short term should match the severity of the problem.