World Health Organization Report on Dementia Research Priorities Sparks Debate

World Health Organization Report on Dementia Research Priorities Sparks Debate
A report supported by the World Health Organization lists 59 research priorities the authors believe would reduce the burden of dementia in the coming decade. A commentary in the same issue of The Lancet Neurology ripped the report's positions, however, touching off a back-and-forth between the sides. The report, “Research priorities to reduce the global burden of dementia by 2025," listed priorities in dementia prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care. The University of Southern California researcher who wrote the commentary contended that the priorities amounted to a plea for continued funding of research that has had a poor track record of success. The critique led to a lengthy correspondence in which WHO representatives, supported by researchers from Oxford University and Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, defended the report's positions. The authors of the report described their list of research priorities as an opportunity to create a “global dementia action plan" to reduce the worldwide burden of the disorder. WHO asked an advisory board that included internationally recognized dementia experts to come up with a way to identify research priorities. Others on the board included policy makers,  researchers, representatives of organizations who fund research, patients’ representatives, and advocates of research funding and support. The group decided to adopt the Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative's method of determining research priorities. It asked more than 2,000 researchers and others for r
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