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Global Dementia Epidemic Looms

health experts alzheimers mind-robbing world health organization brain disease lewy bodies

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#1 Hum

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:35

LONDON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Many governments are woefully unprepared for an epidemic of dementia currently affecting 44 million people worldwide and set to more than treble to 135 million people by 2050, health experts and campaigners said on Thursday.

Fresh estimates from the advocacy group Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) showed a 17 percent increase in the number of people with the incurable mind-robbing condition compared with 2010, and warned that by 2050 more than 70 percent of dementia sufferers will be living in poorer countries.

"It's a global epidemic and it is only getting worse," said ADI's executive director Marc Wortmann.

"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."

Alzheimer's, the most common form of dementia, is a fatal brain disease that has no cure and few effective treatments.

Like other forms of the disorder, it affects patients' memory, thinking and behaviour and is an increasingly overwhelming burden on societies and economies. While there are a few drugs that can ease some symptoms in some people, there is no cure.

Even now, the global cost of dementia care is more than $600 billon, or around 1.0 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP), and that will only increase, the ADI says.

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#2 DocM

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 03:51

http://www.upi.com/H...70791385941442/


Risk of Alzheimer's in older population going down worldwide


ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Improved healthcare for physical and mental health are linked to a worldwide trend of less Alzheimer's disease or delayed Alzheimer's, U.S. researchers say.

Dr. Kenneth Langa of the University of Michigan Medical School and Center for Clinical Management Research VA, Dr. Eric B. Larson, executive director of Group Health Research Institute, and Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, said people are less likely to experience dementia and Alzheimer's disease today than 20 years ago.

The study authors examined five recent studies that suggested a decrease in the prevalence of dementia, crediting the positive trend to improvements in education levels, healthcare and lifestyle.

"We're very encouraged to see a growing number of studies from around the world that suggest that the risk of dementia may be falling due to rising levels of education and better prevention and treatment of key cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol," Langa said in a statement.

"Our findings suggest that, even if we don't find a cure for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, there are social and lifestyle factors we can address to decrease our risk."

In 2008, Langa and Larson reported one of the first studies suggesting a decline in U.S. dementia rates, using information from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. Since then, several studies in Europe confirmed the trend -- and the reasons behind it: People are completing more years of school, which helps the brain fight dementia, and have more awareness about ways to prevent heart disease, another big risk factor for Alzheimer's.

Other research also showed other factors decreasing risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia included early and ongoing education, physical activity, retiring later, educated parents, maintaining social activities and getting treatment for depression.

"Still, we need to be aware that recent increases in obesity and diabetes threaten to reverse these gains, because of the impact these conditions can have on the aging brain," Yaffe said. "The obesity and diabetes epidemics are not affecting age groups most at risk for dementia -- yet. But it's just a matter of time."

The findings were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.



#3 +FiB3R

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:01

Unprecedented breakthrough in the hunt for a dementia drug within 'five years'

 

Senior British researchers spearheading efforts to find a cure say that research has entered 'a new era'

 

The next five years could bring unprecedented breakthroughs in the hunt for a dementia drug, leading scientists have said, as the health ministers of G8 nations prepare to meet in London for a landmark summit.

In a rallying call to politicians, senior British researchers spearheading efforts to find a dementia cure said that research had entered “a new era”, but urged ministers meeting in the UK for the first ever G8 Dementia Summit next week to double international funding on research.

Major progress has been made in recent years in understanding the pathology of dementia and scientists say the groundwork has now been laid for major drug breakthroughs in the next few years.

“I am more encouraged for the future now, than I have ever been,” said Dr Eric Karran, director of research at Alzheimer’s Research UK. “We now understand far better, that the pathology of this disease starts early on, maybe 10 years before we see any symptoms. We now have the tools to image that pathology…that will enable us to investigate drugs that will affect it. I am full of hope that we are going to have a breakthrough in the next five years.”

 

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#4 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:11

This has been an entertaining thread. Well you know these studies aren't exactly science. hahahahahahahahaha.

 

Who to believe, who to believe. 



#5 ians18

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:12

A "Global Epidemic" is called a pandemic...

 

Just Sayin' :p



#6 OP Hum

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 04:21

A real Zombie apocalypse is coming ... :s



#7 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 07:57

I lost my mum to Alzheimers a few years ago now. She was 55 when diagnosed, and 64 when she finally passed away.  IMO, it's probably the WORST disease imaginable, not so much for what it does to the one who gets it, but for what it does to that persons entire family.  They were quite probably the most horrible 9 years of my life, and I wouldn't wish that on even the lowest scum on the planet.

 

The sooner they find a cure for it, the better.  Personally, I'd prioritise it over AIDS or Cancer research, though in my defense, I'm understandably rather biased.



#8 Fergdog

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:25

I'd easily prioritize Cancer and Alzheimers over AIDS at least.



#9 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 08:27

^ All three are horrible diseases, but Alzheimer's is by far the worst, just because of what it does to the entire family over a long period of time.