The Global Coalition on Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease International released Tuesday the Dementia Innovation Readiness Index, the first-ever comprehensive evaluation of innovation in dementia treatment, prevention, and care across G7 countries.  

“Alzheimer’s and other dementias will become the financial – as well as the health – nightmare of our generation if we continue with status quo,” said Michael Hodin, CEO of GCOA, in a statement announcing the index.

“Immediate and sustained action is needed,” Hodin said. “Regulators must step up to define meaningful endpoints and encourage early detection and diagnosis and recruitment into clinical trials. Political and institutional leaders must champion the issue to give it the attention it deserves. Governments must ensure that businesses are allowed, encouraged and incentivized to drive innovation. The solutions won’t be achieved overnight, but the time to commit to innovation is now.”

Marc Wortmann, ADI’s executive director, said, “Alzheimer’s and other dementias require immediate and sustained attention in the areas of care, cure, prevention and societal inclusion, and our index aims to identify opportunities and build momentum towards innovative approaches to these objectives. We hope it will trigger governments and policy makers to identify best practices and learn from each other.”

Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can present legal and planning challenges for financial advisors who have clients who suffer from the diseases.

Elderly people with dementia are often the targets of financial abuse.

The GCOA notes that while the United States is a leader in government investment in dementia research, the U.S. does not fully engage with the broader international community. Also, the U.S. “health system, which consists of multiple payers, can be slow to react to and adapt innovations in prevention, treatment and care,” the GCOA says.

— Check out U.S. Alzheimer’s 2017 spending may reach $259 billion on ThinkAdvisor.