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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/5/2013 (4 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Mind debilitating condition usually strikes elderly and effect memory, motor function

"It's a global epidemic and it is only getting worse," Alzheimer's Disease International executive director Marc Wortmann says. Dementia, a brain debilitating condition that robs the elderly of their memory is only growing exponentially throughout the world. Even worse, is the fact that the world's governments are unable to cope. It's estimated that 135 million people will suffer from the condition by the year 2050.

The global cost of dementia care is more than $600 billion, or around 1.0 percent of global gross domestic product. This amount will only increase in the coming years.

The global cost of dementia care is more than $600 billion, or around 1.0 percent of global gross domestic product. This amount will only increase in the coming years.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/5/2013 (4 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Dementia, Alzheimers's, epidemic, governments


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Fresh estimates from the ADI showed a 17 percent increase in the number of people with the incurable mind-robbing condition compared with 2010. BY the middle of the 21st Century, more than 70 percent of dementia sufferers will be living in developing nations.

"If we look into the future the numbers of elderly people will rise dramatically. It's vital that the World Health Organization makes dementia a priority, so the world is ready to face this condition," Wortmann says.

Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is a fatal brain disease that has no cure and few effective treatments. While there are a few drugs that can ease some symptoms in some people, there is currently no solution for Alzheimer's.

The global cost of dementia care is more than $600 billion, or around 1.0 percent of global gross domestic product. This amount will only increase in the coming years.

Martin Prince, a professor at King's College London's Institute of Psychiatry, said "most governments are woefully unprepared for the dementia epidemic." Only 13 countries have national dementia plans, he says.

"This is a global problem that is increasingly impacting on developing countries with limited resources and little time to develop comprehensive systems of social protection, health and social care," Prince said in a statement.

Leaders from the Group of Eight industrialized countries are due to meet in London next week for a special summit on dementia. This designation is an umbrella term that encompasses Alzheimer's, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), front-temporal dementia and many other forms of cognitive decline.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will host the summit, has committed to spending 66 million pounds on dementia research by 2015. One eighth of that amount is spent on cancer research in Britain.

"Lack of funding means dementia research is falling behind other conditions," Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society says. "The G8 is our once-in-a-generation chance to conquer this condition and we must see meaningful action after the talking is over."

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