Coinciding with Dementia Awareness Week (2014) the “Blackfriars Consensus Statement” has been organised jointly by the UK Health Forum and Public Health England. This consensus statement calls for a national focus on dementia risk reduction, which involves raising awareness to tackle unhealthy lifestyles including smoking, drinking, sedentary behaviour and poor diet. Giving a higher priority to addressing these risk factors could reduce the incidence of dementia in later life, much as it is understood to do in the case of other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.
The UK Health Forum and Public Health England have persuaded fifty-nine organisations and experts from across the dementia and public health community to sign the Blackfriars Consensus Statement. The Blackfriars Consensus [UK Health Forum website] was developed after an earlier meeting in London in January 2014.
“The Blackfriars Consensus Statement says that the scientific evidence on dementia risk reduction is evolving rapidly and is now sufficient to justify action to incorporate dementia risk reduction into health policies and to raise wider awareness about which factors can reduce the risk of developing dementia”.
Call for new policy focus on brain health to reduce the risk of dementia. London: Public Health England, May 20th 2014.
There is a related Lancet article:
Lincoln, P. Fenton, K. [and] Alessi, C. [et al] (2014). The Blackfriars Consensus on brain health and dementia. Lancet. May 24th 2014, Vol.383(9931), pp.1805 – 1806. [Epub ahead of print, May 19th 2014].
UK Health Forum Documents
Promoting brain health: developing a prevention agenda linking dementia and other non-communicable diseases. Summary and introduction to the series. London: UK Health Forum and Public Health England, May 19th 2014.
The executive summary:
Blackfriars Consensus on promoting brain health: reducing risks for dementia in the population. London: UK Health Forum and Public Health England, May 19th 2014.
The main report:
Promoting brain health: developing a prevention agenda linking dementia and other non-communicable diseases. A science and policy discussion document prepared by the UK Health Forum for a meeting on 30 January 2014. London: UK Health Forum and Public Health England, May 19th 2014.
A UK workforce awareness survey conducted in 2014:
Knowledge and awareness among the public health workforce in the UK about the prevention of dementia: a UK Health Forum report. London: UK Health Forum and Public Health England, March 2014 [May 19th 2014].
The earlier January 2014 Blackfriars meeting report:
Meeting report. Promoting brain health: developing a prevention agenda linking dementia and non-communicable diseases. 30 January 2014, St Brides Foundation, Blackfriars, London. London: UK Health Forum and Public Health England, January 30th 2014 [May 19th 2014].
Possibly Related International Developments
Probably also of interest, a letter was published recently in JAD, with many international signatories (109 scientists from 36 countries) and some interesting references to related publications:
Smith, AD. Yaffe, K. (2014). Dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) can be prevented: statement supported by international experts. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease: JAD, 2014, Vol.38(4), pp.699-703.
[A version of this collection features in Dementia and Elderly Care: the Latest Evidence Newsletter (RWNHST), Volume 3 Issue 11, June 2014].
Update: Global Dementia Legacy Event
Jon Rouse, Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships at the Department of Health, speaking at the first Global Dementia Legacy Event in London on June 19th 2014, confirmed that health ministers from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have signed-up to the Blackfriars Consensus Statement.
Ministers back dementia prevention call for action. London: Public Health England: June 19th 2014.