Navigation Links
Alzheimer's Soars, Global Focus Needed: Study

By 2050, 115 million people may suffer from dementia

MONDAY, Sept. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is accelerating at a rapid pace, and by next year 35.6 million people around the world will suffer from dementia -- a 10 percent increase since 2005, a new report predicts.

Incidence of dementia will almost double every 20 years, reaching 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050, according to the 2009 World Alzheimer Report from Alzheimer's Disease International.

"We are confronting an emergency -- we need to do something about this," said Alzheimer's Disease International Chair Dr. Daisy Acosta. Governments around the world must take notice and address the social, medical and economic issues related to dementia, she said.

"Life expectancy is increasing everywhere in the world, and that's why the number of people with dementia are increasing," she said.

According to the report, which analyzed data from 147 studies in 21 areas around the world, prevalence has increased fastest in low- and middle- income countries. Figures for Western Europe, South Asia and Latin America are higher than the 2005 estimates, while numbers have risen only slightly in North America.

In 2010, more than half (57.7 percent) of dementia cases will occur in low- and middle-income countries, and the proportion will jump to 70.5 percent by 2050, the report said.

The report highlights the challenges faced by governments and health-care systems worldwide to meet the needs of people living with Alzheimer's and dementia, and their families and caregivers.

The global cost is estimated at $315 billion annually. But the toll dementia takes on patients, caregivers and families is also staggering, Acosta said. "Suffering is something you cannot calculate in money," she said.

As demented individuals lose their ability to function and communicate with loved ones, caregivers, family and friends pay a heavy emotional price. Up to 75 percent of caregivers have significant psychological illness resulting from caregiving, and 15 percent to 32 percent suffer major depression, the report noted.

Low-income countries, where dementia is considered a normal part of aging, need to promote greater awareness of the disease, Acosta said. Over the next 20 years, some places like North Africa and the Middle East will see dementia cases increase 125 percent, the researchers predicted.

Wealthy countries, including the United States, need plans "to address the issues of the dementia patient," she said.

Because the United States has no national plan for Alzheimer's disease, research and treatment gains have lagged, said Harry Johns, chief executive officer of the Alzheimer's Association. "We do not have a national plan like France does, like the United Kingdom does, like Australia does."

"As a result, the investment in Alzheimer's research is far lower than for other chronic diseases," Johns said. "We have seen investments in cancer make a big difference, in heart disease make a big difference, in HIV/AIDS make a big difference, but the investment in Alzheimer's research is dramatically lower than those other conditions."

Dementia is characterized by a progressive deterioration in intellectual abilities, including memory, learning, orientation, language, comprehension and judgment. Alzheimer's disease, the most common form of dementia, is fatal. The condition mainly affects people older than 65.

"This new report updates the sad fact that economic globalization and development is coupled to a globalizing dementia epidemic now projected to grow to an alarming 115 million victims worldwide," said Greg M. Cole, associate director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California Los Angeles.

The study emphasizes the personal tragedy of dementia and the growing economic and social burdens that developing countries face because of the rising costs of aging, Cole said.

"This study shows that aging populations, which were once only the problem of the developed countries like the United States, Japan and Europe, are also rapidly rising in Asia and Latin America," Cole said. "It calls for efforts to find new treatments to care for the tens of millions of new victims in the developing countries and to help their overburdened caregivers."

A worldwide effort is needed to cope with the increase in dementia, Cole said.

"What the world needs is prevention, but new drugs will necessarily be focused on treatment of diagnosed disease," Cole said. "It takes many years to develop and test prevention methods so we have to act now. We can only hope that there are governments that are not too short-sighted or cognitively-impaired to generate the political will to make primary prevention happen."

More information

For more information on Alzheimer's disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association.

SOURCES: Daisy Acosta, M.D., chair, Alzheimer's Disease International; Harry Johns, CEO, Alzheimer's Association; Greg M. Cole, Ph.D., neuroscientist, Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System, and associate director, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine; Sept. 21, 2009, 2009 World Alzheimer Report

Copyright©2009 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Alzheimers Research Target May Be a Dead End
2. Global health funding soars, boosted by unprecedented private giving
3. Corbett Selected to Host the Only Midwest Global Awards Judging Competition
4. Tata Consultancy Services to Support Roches Global Capacity Building Initiative
5. Creative Technology Services Enhances its Global Competitiveness with Additional Regulatory Certifications
6. Briefing on a new Web resource to address global drinking water crisis
7. MDS Pharma Services Wins Award for Management of Global Malaria Trial
8. Neusoft Becomes First Global Growth Company Partner of World Economic Forum
9. Resonant Medical Appoints New Vice President of Global Sales
10. Transcept Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to Present at UBS 2007 Global Life Sciences Conference
11. The era of global aging: GSAs annual meeting to present new research on hot topics in aging
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Alzheimer's Soars, Global Focus Needed: Study
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Newly reviewed and approved “NJ ... graduated from Tufts School of Dental Medicine in 1935. His father graduated from ... family being in dentistry as well as their commitment and passion to the Practice ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The ... National Poison Data System (NPDS) reveals that in 2014, someone called a poison ... over two million of which were human exposure cases. , The American Association ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... Two years ago, Debbie Gregory, the CEO of, found herself ... Meditation (TM). After encouraging a number of veterans to go through the program, ... the talk. , TM is becoming one of the best alternative treatments for Post-Traumatic ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... ... The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) announced today that it has launched ... ASCP shared its “Give a minute. Get tested. Find a cure.” icon and infographic ... tested for HIV. , ASCP has asked members to replace their Facebook, Twitter, or ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Beach, FL (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... of Consumer Reports magazine, quoted Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer ... and even more so for a child’s exposure limits. , The original Nov ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... REHOVOT, Israel , Nov. 30, 2015 ... focused on acquiring and developing innovative therapies for ear, ... of Keith A. Katkin as chairman of ... Flesher , chief executive officer for OticPharma, Ltd.  "Keith ... As chairman, he will be able to share this ...
(Date:11/29/2015)...  Strengthening its leadership in connected healthcare informatics, ... IntelliSpace Portal 8.0 , the latest edition of ... helps radiologists detect, diagnose and follow-up on treatment of ... North America Annual Meeting (RSNA) in ... the changing demands in radiology that result from an ...
(Date:11/29/2015)... GE Health Cloud 1 was unveiled today at the ... America (RSNA) meeting in Chicago ... ecosystem and its applications will connect radiologists and clinicians to ... – both inside and outside the hospital setting. ... the digital industrial leader, we are betting big on the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: