Health ministers from G8 countries are vowing to find a cure or treatment for dementia by 2025. At a recent conference in London, health officials heard about the lack of progress made in combating the disease, with little spending devoted to dementia research and drug trials compared to other illnesses such as cancer.
This is concerning as populations in all eight countries are aging rapidly. Dementia currently affects more than 35 million people worldwide, a number that is expected to double every two decades.
In Canada, 1.4 million people are expected to have some form of dementia by 2031. Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health for Canada, took part in the Dementia Summit and affirmed Ottawa’s commitment to the goal to find the cure.
“Our Government is committed to taking further action to address the growing problem of dementia,” Minister Ambrose said in a statement released by the Public Health Agency of Canada. “By working with like-minded countries we can harness the best research, innovation and partnerships to help prevent or delay the on-set of dementia; and improve the quality of life, care and treatment of those affected and their families.”
Critics have voiced concerns that Canada is currently the only G8 country without a national strategy on dementia, an issue that Minister Ambrose acknowledged. “It takes collaboration,” she told the Globe and Mail. “We live in a federation. We have 13 health systems. We have a different make up in our country than some other countries.”
For more on Canada’s renewed commitment to dementia research, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website.