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What Alzheimer’s Can Learn from COVID-19

Executive Summary

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the unprecedented global response offers lessons for the growing health crisis of dementia. Most importantly, it shows that a broad coalition of stakeholders – governments, healthcare professionals, international organizations, the private sector, scientific organizations, and the public – can mobilize quickly to address a looming public health catastrophe.
COVID-19 and dementia share similarities in the scale and nature of the challenge and the elements required to establish a response. Both diseases have a health impact that is concentrated among older adults and at-risk groups, but cause broader societal and economic disruptions across families, communities, societies, workforces, and economies. Both require similar strategies for an effective response:

  1. Proactive public health and prevention efforts
  2. Accessible tools for early, accurate diagnosis
  3. Health system preparedness
  4. Modernizing how and where care is provided
  5. Accelerated research
  6. Robust real-world data

In each of these areas, COVID-19 efforts provide powerful insights that can guide cross-sector responses to the dementia crisis. Alzheimer’s Disease International, The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi), and Hoffmann-La Roche hope to stimulate discussion about how our world can apply these lessons to address Alzheimer’s disease: the growing pandemic.  

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