Britain Dementia Summit

Health Minister Rona Ambrose and British Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt attend the G8 Dementia Summit in London in 2013. This week, the second of four events stemming from the summit aims to accelerate the transformation of dementia research into real life products and services to prevent or delay its onset. (Stefan Rousseau Associated Press)

Leading researchers and industry experts are gathered in Ottawa to discuss how to accelerate the development of new treatments and technologies to help people with dementia, their families and caregivers.

The Canada-France Global Dementia Legacy Event is the second in a series of four such events stemming from the Summit on Dementia held last December in London.

Over the next two days, delegates will hear from global dementia experts, as well as people living with dementia and their family members.

Federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose told delegates that dementia has a significant impact on individuals, families and caregivers.

The delegates are to begin the development of an action framework to address the challenges and barriers for collaboration between academia and industry.

The framework will aim to accelerate the transformation of dementia research into real life products and services to prevent or delay the onset of dementia and improve the lives of people living with it.

"The impact of dementia on individuals, caregivers, families and national economies are significant," Ambrose said.

"We must continue to work together to stem the tide and improve our understanding of these conditions, to alleviate the suffering it causes."

Ambrose announced:

  • The release of the findings from a comprehensive study of 14 neurological conditions including Alzheimer's disease and other dementias.
  • The release of the National Dementia Research and Prevention Plan.
  • The federal government's intention to work with the Alzheimer Society of Canada to introduce "Dementia Friends," a program launched in Japan that aims to help Canadians become better informed about how they can support people living with dementia in their communities.

According to the government, an estimated 747,000 Canadians were living with Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia in 2011.

In two decades, it is estimated that 1.4 million Canadians will have dementia, costing the economy almost $300 billion per year.

With files from CBC News