World Alzheimer's Day

©Alzheimer's Disease International

Today is World Alzheimer‘s day!

Every year, increasingly more people present with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. The World Alzheimer Report in 2015 estimates that 46.8 million people worldwide have dementia, and the prognostic trend depicts that by 2030 this figure will almost double (Prince et al., 2015). The rising incidence of dementia will significantly and fundamentally impact our society.

Dementia is an umbrella term for neurocognitive disorders, broadly categorised by decreased memory, personality changes and impaired reasoning which interfere with an individual’s daily activities. Primary progressive aphasia (PPA), Posterior cortical atrophy, behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are all types of dementia, differing in aetiology, progression rate, symptoms and treatment options.

Dementia impacts everyone: patients and carers, their families and colleagues and neighbours psychologically, time-wise, and economically. Age remains the most significant risk factor; and demographic changes will mean that increasingly more people will fall into risk categories for dementia.

Newest research from the Lancet Commission (July 2020) has shown that 12 modifiable risk factors account for around 40% of worldwide dementias, which consequently could theoretically be prevented or delayed. Among them less education, hypertension, hearing impairment, smoking, obesity, depression, physical inactivity, diabetes, and low social contact, complemented this year with thee factors of excessive alcohol consumption, traumatic brain injury, and air pollution. Even slight alterations to these risk factors have shown potential to improve symptoms or disease onset at every stage of one’s life.

We care about a healthy society; and each of its members. No one is protected from dementias and their impact, and all of us will, unfortunately, face it in some way or another through our lives. This is why we encourage to share information and join our network and initiatives, which will aim for public outreach and accessibility and create socially engaged environments for people living with neurocognitive conditions:

More on Alzheimer’s disease:

Lancet Commission (2020) report on dementia and its risk factors: