Key facts from the World Health Organization:
- Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not a normal part of aging.
- Worldwide, 35.6 million people have dementia, and there are 7.7 million new cases every year. The number of people with dementia is expected to nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.
- Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. It may contribute to 60-70 percent of cases.
- Economic impact: $604 billion per year. The high cost of the disease will challenge health systems to deal with the predicted future increase of cases.
- Early diagnosis improves the quality of life of people with dementia and their families.
- More research is needed to better understand its causes. Research is still scarce that identifies the modifiable risk factors of dementia and effective treatments.
Source: World Health Organization
Test of Time: The Art of Aging