Assessing the Preparedness of the Health Care System Infrastructure in Six European Countries for an Alzheimer’s Treatment

RAND Corporation, October 2018

This research analyzes the preparedness of the health care systems in six European countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom — to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment of patients if a disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer’s becomes available. It finds:

  • The burden of Alzheimer’s disease in high-income countries is expected to approximately double between 2015 and 2050. Recent clinical trial results give hope that a disease-modifying therapy might become available in the near future. The therapy is expected to treat early-stage patients to prevent or delay the progression to dementia.
  • This preventive treatment paradigm implies the need to screen, diagnose, and treat a large population of patients with mild cognitive impairment. There would be many undiagnosed prevalent cases that would need to be addressed initially, and then the longer-term capacity to address incident cases would not need to be as high.
  • We use a simulation model to assess the preparedness of the health care system infrastructure in six European countries — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom — to evaluate, diagnose, and treat the expected number of patients.
  • Projected peak wait times range from five months for treatment in Germany to 19 months for evaluation in France. The first year without wait times would be 2030 in Germany and 2033 in France, and 2042 in the United Kingdom and 2044 in Spain. Specialist capacity is the rate-limiting factor in France, the United Kingdom, and Spain, and treatment delivery capacity is an issue in most of the countries.
  • If a disease-modifying therapy becomes available in 2020, we estimate the projected capacity constraints could result in over 1 million patients with mild cognitive impairment progressing to Alzheimer’s dementia while on wait lists between 2020 and 2050 in these six countries.

Click here to view the full report.

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Modifiable pathways in Alzheimer’s disease: Mendelian randomisation analysis

BMJ 2017;359:j5375

This study aims to determine which potentially modifiable risk factors, including socioeconomic, lifestyle/dietary, cardiometabolic, and inflammatory factors, are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.  The design of the study is a Mendelian randomisation study using genetic variants associated with the modifiable risk factors as instrumental variables.  The study concludes that the results provide support that higher educational attainment is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Click here to read the full text paper.

Is this a new era for dementia? – Professor Alistair Burns and Professor Martin Rossor

NHS England, 15 September 2015

The current national and international focus on dementia has been widely welcomed as a vehicle to raise the profile of, and attract attention to, what has been a hitherto relatively neglected area of scientific interest and clinical practice…

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Peer support for people with Dementia: Resource Pack

Health Innovation Network South London, March 2015

The Health Innovation Network worked with The Alzheimer’s Society, Innovations in Dementia and community groups across South London to produce a Resource Pack to promote the importance of peer support opportunities for people with dementia. It brings together in one place evidenced based resources to help community groups and funders set up and run peer support groups, as well as guidance on how to make older people groups more dementia friendly.

Click here to download the resource pack.