U. Mayor Scientists integrate team that delivered a national proposal to prevent dementias


Policy Paper Demencias


Doctors Felipe Court and Julio Cesar Cardenas, members of the Center for Integrativa Biology (CIB),participate in the development of a document published in ther former Congress, that deliver an interdisciplinary proposal to approach this problem and that has been prepared by 70 researchers from Chile and Foreign.

Currently, 200 million people have some kind of dementia in the country. However, this pathology is not only affect the patient, but also their families and caregivers. Thus, and due to the fact that the Chilean population is aging, various forecasts indicate this problem is becoming more complex over the years.

Faced with this challenge, a group of more than 70 national and international experts, from different disciplines and institutions, elaborated the policy paper : "Prevention and comprehensive approach to dementia, Advances and challenges for public policy in the field of neurocognitive disorders", which was presented at the former National Congress on Thursday, June 20.

Within this group, the Mayor University had two representatives, doctors Felipe Court and Julio César Cárdenas, members of the Center for Integrative Biology (CIB).

As explained by Court, director of the CIB, "this publication gives an idea of ​​what the national situation is in terms of dementias and also provides foci of action. We can lay the foundations of how we are and where we should aim in terms of public policies, therefore, it is the first step of a national dementia plan".

The academic also commented that they are happy, because the research is being considered in problems with national and international implications, which means an interdisciplinary effort that goes beyond the work in the laboratory and that hopes, in the medium term, can reach society and to those who make decisions.

"Aging is a subject of relevance in the country, and it is also a priority as a research topic in the world. It is not something restricted to a line of research or to particular interests of an institution, because this is a subject that transcends and, therefore, must be faced by interdisciplinary teams of different national and international institutions, "he said.

Among the authorities present, highlighted the Minister of Health, Jaime Mañalich; the senator, Guido Girardi; the director of the Center for Geroess, Mental Health and Metabolism (GERO), Dr. Andrea Slachevsky; the president of the Chilean Academy of Sciences, Dr. Cecilia Hidalgo; the director of the World Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Bryan Lawlor; and the rector of the University of Chile, Dr. Ennio Vivaldi, among other representatives.

Hope as an engine:

During the day, Dr. Bryan Lawlor, who belongs to the Global Brain Health Institute, an international initiative that seeks to reduce the scale and impact of dementia in the world, exposed to the public the necessity to change the narrative "from the tragedy to the hope ", both for patients and their families.

The Irish expert, who promotes equity in mental health, said they are building an international interdisciplinary network to change the culture and, in this way, to ensure that people suffering from dementia are included in their respective communities.

For this, the exercise would be prevent, intervene and take care; However, he acknowledged that the main problems they face are the knowledge gap, the problem of conscience in health professionals, stigma, fear and lack of empathy.

In fact, in his country they carried out a program where they interviewed patients and their families, and also applied surveys. Later they developed a communication campaign, based on the learning of the studies, to deliver messages to society.

After a few years they repeated the work, however, it gave a disturbing result: cultural changes are slow processes.

In spite of this, Lawlor rescued the work done by the Memory Unit of the Hospital of El Salvador during his stay in the country, noting that in Chile there are all the components to develop a health plan to face dementias, having as main challenges solve the expansion of this, the integration of geography, the burden of caregivers, the development of leadership and resources.

His presentation culminated with the emphasis that "empathy can make hope grow".

Source: https://www.diariomayor.cl/cie...

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