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Dementia - the challenge of putting the horse before the cart

Hoang, Uy and Crouch, Sarah E. M. and Knifton, Lee and Brayne, Carol (2015) Dementia - the challenge of putting the horse before the cart. Journal of Public Mental Health, 14 (1). ISSN 1746-5729

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Abstract

Dementia is "a global challenge and a public health priority" according to Dr Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization in a speech she delivered to a recent G8 summit on the condition. Her sentiments are shared by many current political leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron, the UK prime minister who hosted the summit in London last year. He described it as "the biggest challenge we face today" (UK Department of Health, 2012). In addition to organising international initiatives, many countries including Australia, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, France and the UK have also recently published national dementia plans setting out their own strategies to tackle this challenge (Alzheimer's Disease International). The plan outlined by the Obama administration is possibly the most ambitious and has called for an effective treatment by 2025 (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).