Global Alzheimer’s Leaders Urge Japanese Prime Minister to Outline Vision for Alzheimer’s and Dementia at Upcoming G20 Summit


In new communique, global researchers, policymakers, and business leaders stress need for brain health standard of care, global clinical trial collaboration, new finance mechanisms for research, and a focus on the development of new biomarkers and assessment tools to kickstart global response to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Tokyo, Japan (May 3, 2019) –  Today, leading Alzheimer’s researchers, government officials, biopharmaceutical industry executives, and patient advocates from across the globe released a Consensus Statement and Research Framework that calls on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to leverage his position at the helm of the G20 in 2019 to articulate a vision for addressing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and lead the global public health response on the issue. The full text of the communique can be found here in English and Japanese.

The communique is the result of the second annual Alzheimer’s Asian Scientific Roundtable, which was convened March 21, 2019, in Tokyo, Japan, by the University of Tokyo, the Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI), the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi), and ResearchersAgainstAlzheimer’s (RA2), a global network of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s. The roundtable organizers welcomed 80 leading researchers, policymakers, and patient advocates from around the globe, including representatives from the U.S., Europe, Japan, China, and Australia. The discussion was wide ranging and robust, covering everything from the state of the therapeutic landscape, to opportunities to spur early diagnosis and ways to improve clinical trials.  

“Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias together constitute the defining global public health crisis of the 21st century. There are 50 million people suffering from this disease worldwide, and that number will balloon to 82 million by 2030 unless we act now,” said George Vradenburg, chairman and co-founder of UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and convener of the CEOi. “Without a coordinated, international public health response, this issue will continue to wreak havoc on families and communities worldwide. This is an opportunity for Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese government to take action and lead on this issue at the global level,” said Vradenburg.

The communique outlines four areas for G20 action:

  1. Urge nations to integrate a brain health standard of care into their healthcare systems.
  2. Increase the development of assessment tools, biomarkers, and diagnostics to improve rates of timely, accurate, and compassionate diagnosis of dementia globally and thereby accelerate the widespread adoption of innovative treatments as they emerge in the next few years by those with or at risk of the disease.
  3. Create linkages among regional clinical trial systems to build a global clinical trial support network.
  4. Launch a standing working group of G20 finance ministers to address the costs to society and governments of dementia and discuss new finance mechanisms and public-private partnerships.

Signers of the communique underscored the importance of brain health in addressing Alzheimer’s and dementia and the need to promote ways consumers can reduce their risk of developing the disease in the long-term.

“Actively promoting brain health and risk-reduction strategies must be top-of-mind for medical professionals, policymakers, and business leaders,” said Kiyoshi Kurokawa, chairman of the Health and Global Policy Institute. “While Alzheimer’s researchers have not yet found a cure for this disease, there are proactive steps everyone can take today to lower their risk. Officials and policymakers must communicate this message to the public and ensure a brain health standard of care is adopted at the national and local levels.”

Addressing the global Alzheimer’s crisis at the G20 is a crucial next step to building on the increasingly coordinated global effort to combat Alzheimer’s disease over the past decade.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the G20 and G7 health ministers, the U.S. government, and Japanese officials as we strive to find solutions to this global public health crisis,” added Vradenburg. “UsAgainstAlzheimer’s and our partners collectively represent tens of millions of people impacted by this complex disease. We will continue to insist that global leaders prioritize Alzheimer’s and brain health at this year’s G20 summit in Osaka and beyond.”