The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on dementia across Latin America : a call for urgent regional plan and coordinated response

Ibanez, A. and Santamaria-Garcia, H. and Guerrero-Barragan, A. and Kornhuber, A. and Marques, Ton A.M. and Slachevsky, A. and Teixeira, A.L. and Mar-Meza, B.M. and Serrano, C.M. and Cano, C. and Arias-Gonzalez, C. and Gonzalez-Billault, C. and Butler, C. and Bustin, J. and Duran-Aniotz, C. and Acosta, D. and Matallana, D.L. and Acosta-Alvear, D. and Trépel, D. and França-Resende, E.D.P. and Ferreira-de-Oliveira, F. and Ibanez, F. and De-Felice, F.G. and Navarrete, G. and Tarnanas, I. and Meier, I.B. and Smid, J. and Llibre-Guerra, J. and Llibre-Rodriguez, J.J. and Fajersztajn, L. and Tadao-Takada, L. and Duque, L. and de-Oliveira, M.O. and Camargos-Bicalho, M.A. and Behrens, M.I. and Pintado-Caipa, M. and Parra-Rodriguez, M.A. and Wilson, M.Z. and De La Cruz-Puebla, M. and Custodio, N. and Santibanez, R. and Bernardo-Serafim, R. and Melo-Tavares, R. and Piña-Escudero, S.D. and Rodriguez, T.L. and Dawson, W. and Miller, B.L. and Kosik, K.S. (2020) The impact of SARS-CoV-2 on dementia across Latin America : a call for urgent regional plan and coordinated response. Alzheimer's & Dementia: Translational Research & Clinical Interventions. ISSN 2352-8737 (In Press)

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    Abstract

    The SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic will disproportionately impact countries with weak economies and vulnerable populations including people with dementia. Latin American and Caribbean countries (LACs) are burdened with unstable economic development, fragile health systems, massive economic disparities, and a high prevalence of dementia. Here, we underscore the selective impact of SARS-CoV- 2 on dementia among LACs, the specific strain on health systems devoted to dementia, and the subsequent effect of increasing inequalities among those with dementia in the region. Implementation of best practices for mitigation and containment faces particularly steep challenges in LACs. Based upon our consideration of these issues, we urgently call for a coordinated action plan, including the development of inexpensive mass testing and multilevel regional coordination for dementia care and related actions. Brain health diplomacy should lead to a shared and escalated response across the region, coordinating leadership and triangulation between governments and international multilateral networks.