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Number of dementia patients will double by 2030?
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the number of people with dementia will increase dramatically in the future. By 2030 there will be twice as many people affected as today. This would mean that around three times as many people worldwide suffer from dementia.
Around 35.6 million people worldwide are currently suffering from dementia In a report published in Geneva by the WHO and the Association of Alzheimer's Organizations "Alzheimer's Disease International" (ADI), almost 66 million people will be affected by 2030. In the next 20 years, three times as many people as today would suffer from dementia. The WHO currently estimates that around 35.6 million people are affected. Marc Wortmann, Managing Director of ADI reports that dementia is diagnosed every four seconds worldwide. The health system is "simply overwhelmed", since the spread of the disease has increased significantly due to the increasing life expectancy, the expert told the press agency "AFP" a "social and economic nightmare". The treatment and care costs for dementia patients amount to more than 460 billion euros annually, according to the WHO report.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer's. Affected people are initially noticeable due to their easy forgetfulness. They keep asking the same question or telling the same story. They forget how everyday housework is done, misplace keys and other objects and neglect their appearance. In the advanced stage, even close family members become strangers.
Experts believe that the disease begins to deposit so-called senile plaques and neurofibrils in the brain many years before clinical symptoms appear. The protein deposits on the plaques consist mainly of the beta-amyloid peptide. Neurofibril bundles are located intracellularly and consist of the so-called tau protein, which aggregates into fibrils through increased occupation with phosphoric acid residues (hyperphosphorylation). Scientists are still puzzling over whether tau phosphorylation triggers the disease or is caused by it. The deposits cause the neurons to die, which results in a decrease in brain mass. In addition, the messenger substance acetylcholine is produced in insufficient quantities, so that there is a general decrease in brain performance.
The WHO estimates that dementia is only routinely recognized in 20 to 50 percent of cases. It is therefore necessary to urgently improve diagnostic procedures and training in medicine. The public must also be better informed about the disease. (ag)
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