Dementia cases to treble worldwide by 2050 (Update)

December 5, 2013

The number of people suffering from dementia worldwide is set to explode in the coming decades as the population ages, trebling by 2050, according to a study released Thursday.

Some 44 million people already live with the disease, according to the report by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), with this figure set to rise to 135 million by 2050.

The number of sufferers has risen 22 percent in the past three years alone, ADI said.

"It's a global epidemic and it is only getting worse—if we look into the future the numbers of elderly people will rise dramatically," said Marc Wortmann, executive director of ADI, which represents Alzheimer's groups worldwide.

"It's vital that the World Health Organisation makes dementia a priority, so the world is ready to face this condition."

The study was released ahead of a G8 summit on dementia being held in London next week.

Britain's health ministry said it was "leading a global fightback" against dementia by bringing representatives of the G8—Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States—together to discuss the issue for the first time.

"The G8 summit next week will provide a unique opportunity to make real progress much faster, and re-double international efforts to find effective treatments and cures," a ministry spokesman said.

Britain holds the presidency of the G8 this year, and is due to pass the reins to Russia in 2014.

Dementia is caused by a variety of brain illnesses that affect memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia and makes up about 70 percent of cases.

British actress Carey Mulligan, whose grandmother suffers from Alzheimer's, urged G8 health ministers to increase funding for research on the disease.

"I have experienced at first hand just how terribly painful and frightening dementia can be for both the person diagnosed and their family," the "Great Gatsby" star wrote in a letter published in the Times newspaper.

"On behalf of all those who have dementia today, and the future generations who might still be spared, I would urge the G8 to deliver."

Explore further: Dementia cases to double by 2030: WHO

Related Stories

Dementia cases to double by 2030: WHO

April 11, 2012
The number of people with dementia is expected to almost double to 65.7 million by 2030 as the world population ages, according to a World Health Organisation report published Wednesday.

Alzheimer's 'epidemic' straining caregiver, community resources: report

September 19, 2013
(HealthDay)—The so-called global Alzheimer's epidemic is leading to a shortage of caregivers for seniors and a lack of support for family members who look after elderly relatives, according to a new report.

The good news about the global epidemic of dementia

November 27, 2013
It's rare to hear good news about dementia. But that's what a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective article reports. The article discusses several recent studies that show how age-adjusted rates in aging populations ...

Speaking a second language may delay dementia, study shows

November 6, 2013
People who speak more than one language and who develop dementia tend to do so up to five years later than those who are monolingual, according to a study.

'Foreign' proteins are also implicated in Alzheimer's disease, implications for differentiated treatments

September 24, 2012
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's are characterised by the loss of nerve cells and the deposition of proteins in the brain tissue. A group of researchers led by Gabor G. Kovacs from the Clinical ...

Alzheimer's disease research gains momentum

June 3, 2013
Research conducted by Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, an institute of the University of Tasmania, is shedding new light on the biology of Alzheimer's disease, in particular a protein in the brain that is indirectly responsible ...

Recommended for you

Lifestyle changes to stave off Alzheimer's? Hints, no proof

July 20, 2017
There are no proven ways to stave off Alzheimer's, but a new report raises the prospect that avoiding nine key risks starting in childhood just might delay or even prevent about a third of dementia cases around the world.

Blood test identifies key Alzheimer's marker

July 19, 2017
A new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that measures of amyloid beta in the blood have the potential to help identify people with altered levels of amyloid in their ...

Steering an enzyme's 'scissors' shows potential for stopping Alzheimer's disease

July 19, 2017
The old real estate adage about "location, location, location" might also apply to the biochemical genesis of Alzheimer's disease, according to new research from the University of British Columbia.

Brain scans may change care for some people with memory loss

July 19, 2017
Does it really take an expensive brain scan to diagnose Alzheimer's? Not everybody needs one but new research suggests that for a surprising number of patients whose memory problems are hard to pin down, PET scans may lead ...

Can poor sleep boost odds for Alzheimer's?

July 18, 2017
(HealthDay)— Breathing problems during sleep may signal an increased risk for Alzheimer's disease, a trio of studies suggests.

Hearing is believing: Speech may be a clue to mental decline

July 17, 2017
Your speech may, um, help reveal if you're uh ... developing thinking problems. More pauses, filler words and other verbal changes might be an early sign of mental decline, which can lead to Alzheimer's disease, a study suggests.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.