Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias affect each individual in different ways but early detection is always key for effective treatment.
According to Alzheimer’s Europe, 7.8 million EU citizens lived with dementia in 2018, out of which Alzheimer’s disease makes up between 60 and 80% of these cases of dementia.
Experts warn that the numbers are expected to double unless serious action is taken to raise awareness among citizens, health professionals and policymakers.
At the same time, critics suggest that EU health systems should invest more in infrastructure to detect the disease as early as possible.
Ahead of World Alzheimer’s Day on 21 September, EURACTIV and its partners are publishing a Special Report looking at the different challenges the disease presents at the EU level, but also in France, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, and Slovenia.
European Union countries are still lagging behind in tackling Alzheimer’s disease despite calls by the World Health Organisation for urgent action as cases in the European region are expected to double.
Although associations and scientists are pleased that France has taken up the issue of Alzheimer's with several consecutive plans, they regret that the momentum has since been lost.
Germany has already launched numerous initiatives to combat Alzheimer's disease but needs to catch up in early detection, which could become essential for future medical treatment, researchers and medical experts told EURACTIV.de.
Low public awareness and the fact that many patients consider dementia symptoms as signs of ageing are among the main obstacles of Alzheimer’s disease diagnoses in Czechia. The government has already adopted an action plan aiming for a change.
Early detection of Alzheimer's disease is a stated objective of health policy in Slovenia, but it remains largely unattained.
Italy invests as little as it can in dementia even though the disease costs billions to the country’s economy, experts in the filed told EURACTIV Italy.