Monthly Archives: August 2013

The structure of Portugal’s National Dementia Plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Health for approval.

The submission follows a May 2013 meeting, where a group of dementia experts persuaded the government that existing dementia prevalence figures are sufficiently accurate to allow the next phase of the plan to proceed right away. The group put forward a prevalence figure of 160,000 people with dementia in Portugal, which negated the need for a dedicated epidemiological study – an expensive and lengthy process.

The group included psychiatrists, neurologists, general practitioners, researchers, members of the municipalities and representatives of Alzheimer Portugal. Their work was coordinated by Prof Joel Menard, an architect of the original French Alzheimer Plan.

The next phase of the national plan is a study to determine the needs of people with dementia. This study is already prepared and can begin very quickly. It will begin in the north of Portugal and will return results within six to nine months According to Álvaro de Carvalho, the Coordinator of the National Mental Health Programme, the rest of the country will follow in turn. 

For more information, click on the link below:

A total of eleven international consortia have been proposed for funding under two JPND Transnational calls between a total of 20 countries

These new projects are aiming to increase understanding of the factors that put people at risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, and also to evaluate health and social care strategies for people living with these debilitating illnesses.

The projects are supported under two JPND transnational calls for proposals entitled

  • “A call for European research projects for the identification of genetic, epigenetic and environmental risk and protective factors for Neurodegenerative Diseases“
  • "A call for European research projects for the evaluation of health care policies, strategies and interventions for Neurodegenerative Diseases”

The calls were launched in December 2012 between 19 and 14 countries respectively, with a proposal deadline of March 2013. 

The project proposals have been proposed for funding by the respective Peer Review Panels based on scientific evaluation and by the respective Call Steering Committees based on budget availability.

For further information on the projects proposed for funding, click on the links below.

The European Medicines Agency has released a draft guideline on the clinical investigation of medicines for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) for a six-month public consultation.

The document focuses on the design of studies for medicines that have an impact on the course of the disease (disease-modifying treatments) as well as medicines that treat the symptoms of ALS. Guidance is provided on the choice of meaningful outcome parameters used in studies and the clinical relevance of functional tests of disability, including motor- and respiratory-function tests and their relationship to survival. 

For more information, click on the link below:

Representatives of industry and patient organisations have joined the JPND Scientific Advisory Board

Since 2010, the JPND Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) has been delivering independent, strategic advice to the JPND Management Board for:

  • the establishment of its Strategic Research Agenda (SRA)
  • the ongoing implementation of priorities identified in the strategy
  • future strategy revision and stakeholder engagement

Members of the SAB provide recognised leadership across the three JPND thematic areas – scientific, medical and social/policy, including public health.

Recognising the importance of JPND engagement with its stakeholders, the SAB membership was recently expanded to provide scientific leadership from two major JPND stakeholder groups – industry and patient organisations.

JPND is delighted to announce that the following candidates have accepted invitations from JPND to join the membership of the SAB:

Representatives of Industry

  • François Nicolas, Director of Neurology PET MDx, GE Healthcare
  • Thomas Rooney, Head of Translational Research, Neurodegenerative Diseases Group, Sanofi

Representatives of Patient Organisations

  • Brian Fiske, Vice President of Research Programs, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, USA
  • Charles Scerri, University of Malta and Honorary Secretary, Alzheimer Europe
  • Eric Karran, Director of Research, Alzheimer’s Research UK

A new report from the International Longevity Centre (ILC) and Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC), presents analyses exploring financial dimensions of wellbeing and other quality of life measures concerning older age.

The report was published as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (ESRC SDAI).

Data was derived from the “Understanding Society” social survey, which investigated the oldest old (i.e. people aged over 85) and their levels of health, wellbeing and participation.

The PFRC and ILC-UK plan to continue their analysis of Understanding Society, concerning aspects of financial wellbeing in particular.

For more information, click on the link below: