In comparison with other regions, dementia prevalence in Latin America is growing rapidly, along with the consequent clinical, social, and economic burden upon patients and their families. The combination of fragile health care systems, large social inequalities, and isolated clinical and research initiatives makes the coordination of efforts imperative. The Latin America and the Caribbean Consortium on Dementia (LAC-CD) is a regional organization overseeing and promoting clinical and research activities on dementia. Here, we first provide an overview of the consortium, highlighting the antecedents and current mission. Then, we present the consortium's regional research, including the multi-partner consortium to expand dementia research in Latin America (ReDLat), which aims to identify the unique genetic, social, and economic factors that drive Alzheimer's and frontotemporal dementia presentation in LAC relative to the US. We describe an extension of ReDLat which aims to develop affordable markers of disease subtype and severity using high density EEG. We introduce current initiatives promoting regional diagnosis, visibility, and capacity, including the forthcoming launch of the Latin American Brain Health Institute (BrainLat). We discuss LAC-CD-led advances in brain health diplomacy, including an assessment of responses to the impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia and examining the knowledge of public policies among experts in the region. Finally, we present the current knowledge-to-action framework, which paves the way for a future regional action plan. Coordinated actions are crucial to forging strong regional bonds, supporting the implementation of regional dementia plans, improving health systems, and expanding research collaborations across Latin America.
Keywords: Dementia; LAC-CD; Latin America; genetics; implementation science; neurodegeneration; neuroimaging; regional health; social determinants of health; socioeconomic status.