Number of dementia patients double by 2030?
Number of dementia patients by 2030 twice as high?
According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, the number of people with dementia will rise dramatically in the future. By the year 2030, there will be twice as many victims as today. This would be about three times as many people worldwide suffer from dementia compared to today.
Currently, about 35.6 million people worldwide are affected by dementia
In a report published in Geneva by the WHO and the Association of Alzheimer's Organizations „Alzheimer's Disease International“ (ADI) is spoken by almost 66 million people in 2030. Over the next 20 years, three times as many people as today might suffer from dementia. WHO currently estimates that around 35.6 million people are affected. Marc Wortmann, Managing Director of ADI, reports that dementia is diagnosed every four seconds worldwide. The health system is „simply overwhelmed ", because the spread of the disease has increased significantly by the rising life expectancy, the expert told the press agency „AFP“. Firstly, the disease is a burden for those affected and relatives, on the other hand, it is also often a „social and economic nightmare. "According to the WHO report, the treatment and care costs of people with dementia are more than € 460 billion a year.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia
The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's disease. Those affected initially stand out due to slight forgetfulness. They keep asking the same question or telling the same story. They forget how everyday household chores are done, misplacing keys and other items and neglecting their appearance. At an advanced stage even close family members become strangers.
Experts believe that many years before the onset of clinical symptoms, the disease begins with the deposition of so-called senile plaques and neurofibrils in the brain. The protein deposits of the plaques consist mainly of the beta-amyloid peptide. Neurofibrillary tangles are intracellular and consist of the so-called tau protein, which aggregates into fibrils through increased occupation with phosphoric acid residues (hyperphosphorylation). Scientists are still puzzling over whether tau phosphorylation triggers or is the cause of the disease. The deposits cause the death of the neurons, resulting in a decrease of the brain mass. In addition, the messenger acetylcholine is produced in too small an amount, so that there is a general decrease in brain power.
The WHO estimates that dementia is routinely recognized only in 20 to 50 percent of cases. Therefore, it is necessary to urgently improve diagnostic procedures and training in medicine. Also, the public should be better informed about the disease. (Ag)
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Picture: Gerd Altmann