The year 2020 has had many moments to forget. But if at the Pasqual Maragall Foundation we would choose a date to forget, this would be September 21st. The day in which Alzheimer's is the protagonist and the day in which it is verified that, despite the progress, there is still a long way to go.
We face a disease with a high incidence among the population, since 2 out of 3 Spaniards affirm that they have or have had in their environment a person with Alzheimer's. In more than a quarter of cases it is a first-degree relative: grandparents, parents or siblings. An ailment that the Spanish population places as one of the main health concerns, along with cancer and ahead of stroke or infectious diseases such as Covid-19.
These data, extracted from our recent survey “Attitudes and perceptions of the Spanish population about Alzheimer's disease” only reinforce our conviction that our work, in addition to being necessary, is also urgent. We want World Alzheimer's Day to be #undíaparaolvidar (“a day to forget”), and the only hope to achieve this is the advancement of research. We will only find the cure for this disease through science.
Dementias affect almost 50 million people in the world, but their research is not being a priority in the allocation of public and private resources. At the Pasqual Maragall Foundation we work to prevent Alzheimer's, investigating the early detection of people at risk of suffering from the disease and new treatments that delay or stop the onset of symptoms.
In addition, we dedicate efforts to change the social consideration of Alzheimer's, and to prioritize care for people in situations of fragility or dependency, so necessary at the present time.
We want, in the future, that September 21st is #undíaparaolvidar. Together we can erase the celebration of World Alzheimer's Day from the calendar, because forgetting this celebration would mean that we have achieved our mission: to defeat Alzheimer's.