Alzheimer Europe conference @ Bucharest

After two years of digital meetings, it was great to meet each other again live, face to face. Some 90 people met Monday morning 17th October 2022 for the annual INTERDEM meeting, to be followed by the Alzheimer Europe conference with some 500 participants. We were welcomed in Bucharest in a nice venue and almost summer like weather.

At the INTERDEM meeting, updates were given on the recent activities, including the website committee and the different taskforces. Nine current research projects were presented in breakout sessions. Congratulations again to Hannah Christie and Jeroen Bruinsma, who gave excellent presentations about their winning articles of this year’s INTERDEM Academy publication award.

Several INTERDEM members had presentations during the Alzheimer Europe conference. Amongst them, and building on the work of the INTERDEM taskforce on primary prevention, Jan Steyaert gave a plenary presentation calling for work on increasing awareness of brain healthy lifestyles. This is available online at, starting at 7’40’’. Earlier in this video, you can see the presentation of Niels Janssen on his anti-stigma campaign, which won the award the day afterwards.

Ana, Fanny and Eithen share their experience below.

Ana Barbosa

Being at the Alzheimer Europe conference after two years of virtual conferences was both exciting and nerve wrecking. It was good to feel that not much has changed – Alzheimer Europe is a very welcoming and lively conference and a great event to reunite with colleagues and get to know like-minded people. In addition, there is always an array of interesting sessions.

IMG_6169.jpgDuring the conference, I presented the findings of a rapid review on the use and uptake of technology by people with dementia and supporters during the covid-19 pandemic. This review is part of a larger project (UTeC19) conducted by the INTERDEM taskforce on assistive technology. Technology was a major topic at the conference, being the focus of several presentations and rich discussions.  

I also had the opportunity to represent the website committee at the INTERDEM annual meeting. I fully enjoyed the discussions held within this group, which provided a better insight into the work being conducted by this research network.

Fanny Monnet

Experiencing the Alzheimer Europe conference in-person for the first time has been very enriching. It was 3 days full of new insights, fruitful discussions, and great opportunities for networking.   

As a DISTINCT Early Stage Researcher, I got to present my work on the development of an advance care planning website for people with dementia and their family caregivers, first in a parallel session on the topic of technology and then within the DISTINCT symposium with my fellow ESRs. I was truly impressed to see how far we have gotten with our projects despite the COVID-19 crisis.

My stand out sessions from the conference were those hosted by the European Working Group of People with Dementia. I felt inspired by their testimonies and really appreciated the opportunity to gain more insights into the lived experiences of people with dementia. Overall, I left Bucharest feeling motivated and grateful for the work that I do and the network I started to build throughout my PhD trajectory!

Eithne Heffernan

I thoroughly enjoyed virtually attending my first Alzheimer Europe conference. The hybrid nature of the conference helped to ensure that this fantastic event was inclusive and accessible to all.

As a member of the Dementia Carers Campaign Network, which is supported by The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland, I gave a presentation about how the experience of becoming a dementia carer and campaigner influenced my practices and perspectives as a dementia researcher. In addition, I shared a poster about the study I carried out in the University of Nottingham, which identified priorities for future research about co-existing dementia and hearing conditions.

I was impressed and inspired by the wide array of dementia studies presented by researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplines. I was also delighted to see that people with lived experience of dementia, including carers, had a strong presence at the conference.