Welsh Labour’s Euro-MP, Derek Vaughan has backed a call for the EU to put more effort into the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
A formal resolution adopted by the European Parliament this week puts pressure on the EU Commission and government ministers to do more to fund and support research into prevention of a condition that cost European governments over £1bn in 2009.
MEPs also called for more to be done to support the unsung heroes who care for Alzheimer’s patients. These will often be family members who, day in, day out, provide the love, care and assistance needed to help their loved ones get through daily life.
Mr Vaughan welcomed the strong vote by MEPs, but said it needs to be followed up by action:
"This is one of the most pressing long-term challenges facing our health and care services, so action must be taken. Whilst this report is very important, we know that the power lies with the governments who take decisions on where to prioritise research spending and investment.
Yes we need to do all we can to find effective treatment, but we should also be looking at prevention, including whether lifestyle choices, such as changing the food we eat, could reduce the risk of developing the disease.
The European Parliament has also made it clear that far more should be done to help the people who care for Alzheimer’s patients. In most cases we’re not talking about medical professionals but about wives, husbands, sons and daughters.
It can be hard, gruelling work and these people should be recognised for their efforts and supported, with respite care available to ensure they can take breaks and look after their own physical and mental well being."
More information on the position adopted by the European Parliament can be found at: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/en/pressroom/content/20110119IPR11964/html/Call-to-act-on-Alzheimer%E2%80%99s-disease