The Scale Of The Growing Tragedy Of Alzheimer’s Disease Has Been Reforecast

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More than half the world’s dementia sufferers, about 70 million of them, will live in the Asia Pacific region by 2050, according to analysis by Alzheimer’s Disease International.

Australian Glenn Rees, the chair elect of Alzheimer’s Disease International, says the new estimates give more urgency to calls for increased awareness, research, education and training.

Dementia is a syndrome which results in the progressive deterioration of brain function including language, judgment, comprehension, memory, thinking and learning.

It is estimated that 58% of those with dementia live in low and middle income countries and this figure will rise to 71% by 2050.

“Dementia is as much an issue for developing countries as it is for developed ones and it is imperative that we take a unified approach to tackle the disease,” Rees says.

The report identifies the adverse effect that the increasing dementia prevalence will have on Asia Pacific economies.

The population of the Asia Pacific region in 2015 is estimated at 4 billion and more than 11% of the the region is over 60 years of age.

And by 2050 a quarter of the population in the Asia Pacific region will be aged 60 years or older.

The worldwide costs associated with dementia are tremendous with estimates indicating that in 2010 US $604 billion was spent on the disease.

These costs related to informal care (such as unpaid family carers), social care (community and residential care) and medical care (treatments in primary and secondary care).

For the Asia Pacific region, costs have been estimated at US $185 billion

During the 2012-13 financial year, 92,318 in Australia were supported by the Federal Government through the National Dementia Support Programs administered by Alzheimer’s Australia.

The estimated cost to Australian in 2015 is $12.892 billion.

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