A new report titled, “Dementia: a public health priority” suggests that the number of people living with dementia will triple by 2050. The report was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Alzheimer’s Disease International to raise awareness of dementia and advocate for action on an international level. The upcoming G8 Dementia Summit in the UK hopes to launch a world-wide attack on Alzheimer’s and ultimately stop the epidemic.
The study uncovered startling statistics about the future of dementia and Alzheimer’s worldwide. Currently, there are 44 million people suffering from dementia globally. That number is up 22% over the past three years when there were 35.6 million people suffering from the disease. The report estimates that by 2050 over 135 million people worldwide will have dementia, tripling the amount of people who have it now.
The study precedes that first ever G8 Dementia Summit scheduled for December 11th in the United Kingdom.
What is the G8 Dementia Summit?
The United Kingdom is hoping to spark an international effort to combat the dementia epidemic by inviting health leaders from G8 countries to a summit to launch a coordinated attack against the disease. The goal of the G8 Dementia Summit is to develop an international action plan on dementia. It is part of the “Dementia Challenge” launched in March 2012 by Prime Minister David Cameron.
The summit aims to:
- improve the quality of life for people who already have dementia
- improve existing treatment of dementia as well as prevention methods
- stimulate an international investment in dementia research
What does this mean for us?
The results of the report are scary to say the least. We need to take action now to prevent Alzheimer’s from becoming the global epidemic it is predicted to be. Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International, said, “This is a global epidemic, and it is getting worse – if we look at the future, we see the number of elderly will increase dramatically.” The Alzheimer’s Society noted that dementia is the most feared health condition in seniors over the age of 55 and costs the economy more than cancer, strokes, or heart disease combined.
Join the fight:
The future may look bleak according to the report but there are steps we can take now to slow the epidemic.
- Join a clinical trial
- Get genetic testing
- Email, call, and tweet your Congressmen
- Get educated about Alzheimer’s & Dementia
- Speak up if you see symptoms
- Sign the Alzheimer’s petition
- Volunteer or donate to an Alzheimer’s research or awareness organization