A new study released yesterday found that a staggering one in three babies born will suffer s form of dementia in old age
This past Monday, on World Alzheimer’s Day Alzheimer’s Research UK released a statement that flooded newspapers papers all over the country: ‘One in three people born this year will develop dementia during their lifetime’. As the population continues to grow, this generation will outnumber any previous ones. As the children of today age as well as life expectancy increasing, the UK will be facing a major health crisis.
Currently, there are 850,000 people in the UK affected by dementia and that number is only projected to increase.
Dementia is caused by several different brain diseases, notably Alzheimer’s which destroys brain cells often related to memory and cognition.
if research could determine how to delay the onset of dementia by just five years, the number of people living with the disease could be cut by one third.
As the disease progresses, however, and more brain cells are destroyed, eating, drinking, and walking can become a challenge for those affected.
This study, conducted in a joint effort between the Office of Health Economics and Alzheimer’s Research UK found that nearly a third (32 per cent) of people born this year will develop dementia and that males are slightly more likely to develop it than women (37 compared to 27 per cent). The researchers did take into account the anticipated life expectancy for this generation as well as the current percentages of women and men with dementia. The results are none the less shocking.
Dr. Matthew Norton, head of policy at Alzheimer’s Research UK, issued a statement: ‘These figures underline a stark reality: as people are living longer, more and more people will develop dementia if future action is not taken now to tackle the condition.’
Currently there are no treatments to stop or slow down Alzheimer’s but Alzheimer’s Research UK, in anticipation of the increase of people with dementia, is boosting research efforts to increase the development of new methods and treatments.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s are incredibly detrimental diseases which greatly inhibit everyday life. Norton states that ‘Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and if we are to beat it, we must invest in research.’ He further suggests that if this research could determine how to delay the onset of dementia by just five years, the number of people living with the disease could be cut by one third.
‘It is wonderful news that each generation is living longer than the last but it important that people enjoy these extra years in good health,’ says Dr. Norton. And he is right, to live a full life to the end is to live a happy and healthy one.
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading charity focusing on finding preventions, cures, and treatments for dementia. For more information go to Alzheimersresearchuk.org.
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