Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)

The 31st International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) was held 21-24 April 2016 in Budapest, Hungary. Jointly hosted by ADI and the Hungarian Alzheimer’s Society (HAS), the conference was attended by about 900 delegates in from 70 countries.

Many of the delegates suffered from dementia themselves. Also in attendance were care-givers, doctors and academics, as well as individuals representing non-profit organizations like the World Dementia Council and Alzheimer Europe.

The ADI 2016 conference was granted by the European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME). It was also granted 24 credit points for the participated Hungarian Medical Doctors by the Semmelweis University.

Sponsors of the conference included Eli Lilly and Company, Roche Holding AG, Bupa, Nutricia, Biogen Inc. and Janssen Pharmaceutica.

Opening ceremony

The conference commenced with a speech from ADI Chair Glenn Rees, who discussed two reports on the various communities around the world that are helping to raise awareness around the issue of dementia.

Dr. Gábor Bagdy, then Deputy Mayor of Budapest, welcomed the delegation to Hungary, as did Professor János Kálmán of the HAS. Talks were then delivered by some of the country’s leading public officials, including Dr. Attila Beneda (Deputy State Minister for Health), Dr. Zsófia Puszta (leader of the Hungarian WHO Office) and Károly Czibere (State Minister of Social Affairs).

Hungarian folk dance group Fricska performed for the delegation.

Vassiliki Terkenli, whose mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, was given the 2016 ADI-Home Instead “Carer of the Year” Award.

Alzheimer’s Presentations

The theme of the 2016 conference was “Dementia: Global Perspective—Local Solutions,” focusing on strategies and advocacy at both the international and local levels. One express purpose of the conference was to shed new light on the number of people living with dementia around the world, as well as on recent innovations in the areas of prevention and treatment.

The topic of the first plenary was “Advances Towards Prevention, Treatment and Cure,” and featured presentations by Serge Gauthier and Mary Radnofsky. Plenary 2 covered the use of new research to improve dementia care, while the third plenary concentrated on the extent to which lifestyle affects a person’s dementia risk.

Plenaries 4 and 5 focused on international health initiatives and the global impact of dementia, while the sixth and final plenary discussed new research and treatment options.

As an example of the latter, Professor Christian Holscher of Lancaster University discussed the link between type 2 diabetes and dementia. According to Holscher, certain medications used to treat type 2 diabetes show potential in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. He also noted that type 2 diabetes increases a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 80-150 percent.

Other sessions and workshops

There were also 20 parallel sessions and four workshops covering a range of important topics. The parallel sessions included discussions about “Awareness and Stigma,” “Rights of People with Dementia,” “Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions,” and “End of Life Care.”

Rosie Mayston and Martin Prince led workshops on the subject of “Aging and Dementia in Low and Middle Income Countries.” Other workshops dealt with dementia support communities, human rights for dementia patients, and public participation in dementia research.

As the conference came to a close, the ADI thanked its sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and allied organizations. It also reiterated its ongoing commitment to Alzheimer’s research and awareness, and announced the 32nd International Conference of ADI, which was held 26-29 April 2017 in Kyoto, Japan.