International strategy for dementia explored at G8

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The projections for Alzheimer patients continues to rise at an alarming rate and the need for an international strategy has never been greater. New analysis suggests that the number of people globally living with dementia will treble by 2050.

The numbers are increasing at an staggering rate

The report was revealed in a policy briefing on the global impact of dementia ahead of the first G8 Dementia Summit on December 11th. One of the summit’s goals is to develop an international approach to dementia research and policy. The brief reveals a 17% increase in the number of people living with dementia since 2009. The total number today of people living with dementia is 44 million and that number is projected to grow to 135 million by 2050.

Globally strategy needed to address the epidemic

The report suggests a shift in the burden of dementia from richer to poorer countries. Numbers have been underestimated in countries like East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. By 2050, 71% of those affected by dementia will live in low to middle income countries which are ill prepared to handle the problem. The summit hopes that national dementia strategies will help with early diagnosis and interventions. The global groups states there is urgent need for a coordinated action plan that brings together governments, industry and non-profit organizations to confront the dementia epidemic.

The G8 brief also notes:
- The global cost of dementia is $604 billion a year. This will increase as the numbers of people affected increase.
- Improvements in public health could avert 10% of dementia cases by improving lifestyle choices and education.
- Investment in finding a cure needs to be balanced with investment in best care.
- Only 13 of the 193 World Health Organization (WHO) countries have national dementia plans.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Alzheimer’s Disease International

 
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