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Proposal for a Council Recommendation on measures to combat neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's, through joint programming of research activities, COM(2009) 379 final

Funded under: FP7-HEALTH

Abstract

The Commission is proposing more strategic cooperation among EU Member States (MS) in research and development (R&D) in view of addressing large societal challenges. One way to do so is a new 'Joint Programming' approach. Joint Programming (JP) involves MS engaging voluntarily on a variable-geometry basis in defining, developing and implementing strategic research agendas. Neurodegenerative diseases (ND), and in particular Alzheimer's disease (AD), have been proposed as a pilot project.
Around 7.3 million people are reckoned today to suffer from AD and related disorders in Europe, a figure that is expected to double by 2020. AD is expected to place a heavy and growing burden on health-care systems, including informal care and long-term care facilities, in Europe. In an ageing society, research on ND mobilises significant financial and human resources, both in the EU and at the level of the EU Framework Programme for research and technological development (RTD).
In spite of this, there is at present no effective treatment able to slow down or stop the deterioration of brain function. Early diagnosis is close to impossible, and because it often occurs too late, treatment to mitigate the effects of the illness remains limited. If we are to succeed in combating ND in general and AD in particular, a focused research effort addressing prevention, diagnosis and treatment is essential. Coordinating research in Europe would bring added value, better results and lead to more accurate diagnostic tools and more effective forms of treatment.
In September and December 2008, the Council adopted conclusions recommending that a common European initiative be launched in this field through a JP approach. It invited the Commission to submit a proposal for a Council Recommendation with a view to this pilot initiative being launched in 2009.

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Record Number: 10088 / Last updated on: 2009-09-24
Category: COM DOCUMENT