Evening Symposium on Dementia

Last week, on 29th June 2016, we met on Luxembourg-Kirchberg to discuss latest research and developments in the fight against dementia. Coming from policy, life course research and geriatric medicine, the three speakers – Dr Jean-Claude Schmit, Dr Anja Leist, and Dr Carine Federspiel – informed about new evidence in the field of dementia. Prof. Rainer Klump, President of the University of Luxembourg, opened the symposium, René Friederici, Country Chair of Rotary in Luxembourg, closed the symposium. Dr Michèle Vallenthini moderated the symposium.

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(c) Lorenzo Pizzuti

The symposium was organized by the University of Luxembourg and Rotary Club Luxembourg Hearts. We especially thank the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education, the Research Unit INSIDE and the PEARL Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality for their support in organizing and realizing the conference.

With the aim of raising funds for Sahmet Hostel – Secondary Education for Girls in India, we asked attendees for donations, and are grateful for the considerable amount of donations raised that evening.

(c) Lorenzo Pizzuti


The other good cause intended to raise funds for was already financed before the symposium:


The contents of the talks were manifold: Dr. Jean-Claude Schmit, Director of Health in Luxembourg, talked about international, European and national policy changes in the field of dementia, focusing on the Luxembourgish efforts during the EU Presidency to put dementia on the policy agenda, and supporting the WHO Call for Action. Due to longer life expectancy, costs of dementia are increasing in Luxembourg. Preventive efforts should be taken to address the challenges to the sustainability of the healthcare system.

Dr. Anja Leist, researcher at the University of Luxembourg and Steering Group member of the World Young Leaders in Dementia Network, spoke about research evidence how experiences throughout the life course can help to maintain cognitive function at older ages and reduce risk of dementia. Starting point of her talk is the phenomenon that despite similar neuropathology, people are very differently affected by dementia depending on their cognitive reserve. Several factors such as education, a healthy lifestyle and physical exercise in midlife can help delaying cognitive decline. She explained why investing in education will significantly help maintaining cognitive health of today’s children up to very old ages.

Dr. Carine Federspiel, Medical Director of Zitha Senior, first informed about methods of early diagnosis of dementia and possibilities for secondary prevention, such as the NEUROfit programme. Second, she mentioned the possibilities for information, treatment and care, discussing care arrangements for persons with lower or more complex care needs and presenting the work of Association Luxembourg Alzheimer. Lastly, Dr. Federspiel focused on ‘living well with dementia’ and on important resources to improve quality of life, such as a supportive environment.

For the full agenda and further information on our good cause, please see the Leaflet_program_Symposium_29June2016.



If you have further questions or would like to support our good cause, please contact us.


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