Professor Philip Scheltens, director of the Alzheimer Center at Amsterdam UMC has been appointed as new chair of the World Dementia Council (WDC). This international council aims to raise awareness among governments around the world about dementia and want to improve the lives of people affected by dementia. Scheltens will remain affiliated with Amsterdam UMC as a professor and researcher.

In 2013, the G8 (currently G7) established the World Dementia Council. The council consists of twenty-four dementia experts and world leaders. They all come from academia, industry or NGOs in both high-income and low- and middle-income countries. The council’s multi-sectoral composition is its strength. It places the council in a formidable position to identify opportunities between sectors and organisations, in order to accelerate progress in addressing the challenges of dementia and influence collaboration in ways that will help catalyse the global response to the condition.

Global awareness

The WDC meets on a regular basis to discuss the international dementia agenda. WDC has three main themes: health and care, achieving a dementia-friendly social environment, and improving research on dementia. This council is going to encourage and support government organizations to make sure that everyone is aware of the problem of dementia and that plans are made at the national level.

New chair

Philip Scheltens is the successor to Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, who has led the WDC for the past three years. As new chair, Scheltens will assess the current state. What is the state of affairs? What can be improved and where can the council make a difference? He also believes that research remains essential and that best practices need to be shared. There are countries that do not yet have a national approach, something Scheltens would love the work on. Scheltens: “I am humbled and honored to have been elected as chair. I will work with the Council to put dementia care and research on the forefront of attention of all governments.”

Visit the website of the World Dementia Council