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On the 20th anniversary of World Alzheimer’s Day (September 21), BrightFocus Foundation spotlights its four European global partners, who are honoring the patients and families affected by Alzheimer’s disease with a range of educational programs in their respective countries. Their common goal: a future without Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 36 million people worldwide—a number equivalent to the population of Canada.  In the U.S., someone develops Alzheimer’s every 68 seconds, and the disease is the sixth leading cause of death.

To date, the five groups combined have provided Alzheimer’s disease research funding equivalent to more than $116 million in US dollars, or more than $85.8 million in Euro dollars, to scientists worldwide.

BelgiumStichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (SAO) / Fondation Recherche Alzheimer (FRA)


  • Research funding provided to date: $5, 816,500 (EURO).
  • Alzheimer’s disease activists will culminate a year-long awareness campaign with an event on September 21, 2013.
  • Two new resources will be unveiled: a book about current medical knowledge on Alzheimer’s disease (“Pieces of the Puzzle Come Together”) and a clip from a public service radio and TV ad on “Research Gives Hope.”
  • Issue of concern: not enough rooms in nursing homes for Alzheimer’s patients.

FranceLigue Européenne Contre La Maladie d’Alzheimer (LECMA)


  • Research funding provided between 2005 and 2013: funded 31 projects, for a total of $1,945,090 (EURO).
  • On September 21, LECMA is hosting a public conference in Paris, featuring Alzheimer’s disease experts. The topic: understanding Alzheimer’s, to better fight it.
  • In cooperation with other partners, LECMA is producing a computer-animated video that will demonstrate the workings of the human brain. The video—to be available in four languages, including English—will be introduced by scientists speaking at the partner's public conference.
  • Issue of concern: not enough nursing homes. Many are private facilities, and can be very expensive.

GermanyAlzheimer Forschung Initiative eV (AFI)


  • Research funding provided since 1995: $5,761,836 (EURO).
  • In September 2013, AFI will feature three events on the topic of prevention. Scientists will debate whether activities like social interactions, eye-brain exercises, physical activity, or diet can help prevent or even delay Alzheimer’s disease.
  • AFI is also providing numerous public education materials on healthy lifestyles and ways to reduce risks of age-related diseases.
  • Issue of concern: monitoring the quality of care for Alzheimer’s patients in nursing homes.

NetherlandsInternationale Stichting Alzheimer Onderzoek (ISAO)


  • Research funding provided since 1993: more than $11.4 million (EURO).
  • World Alzheimer’s Day events will include the release of the computer animated video produced in cooperation with the French partner, LECMA, and special screenings of the moving personal documentary Forget Me Not (Vergiss Mein Nicht), a film by David Sieveking on his mother Gretel, who has Alzheimer's disease.
  • Issues of concern:  too few nursing homes for the patient population, and the need to monitor the quality of care in senior homes.

Last Review: 04/15/14



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