Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
About Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease:
Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, with nearly 60% living in low- and middle-income countries, with significant social and economic implications in terms of direct medical and social care costs (including informal care). Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases. The estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between 5 and 8 per 100 people. The total number of people with dementia is projected to reach 82 million in 2030 and 152 million in 2050. Much of this increase is attributable to the rising numbers of people with dementia living in low- and middle-income countries (Alzheimer International Report, 2015).
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. Even if dementia care plans and services are in equally developed in Romania, Bulgaria (2 countries where national dementia strategies are totally absent and specialized care services not developed), Greece (there is a national dementia plan and existing care services, but in insufficient number) and UK (with high profile of dementia research and care) are all confronting with a high number of dementia diagnosis, and struggle finding new and more appropriate ways of reducing symptoms and improving quality of life of patients and families, as cure does not exist.
Treatment of Dementia
There is no treatment currently available to cure dementia or to alter its progressive course. However, much can be offered to support and improve the lives of people with dementia and their carers and families, for optimizing physical health, cognition, activity and well-being, managing challenging behavioral and psychological symptoms and providing information and long-term support to carers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes dementia as a public health priority. In May 2017, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025’, with main action themes: increasing awareness of dementia and establishing dementia-friendly initiatives; reducing the risk of dementia; diagnosis, treatment and care; research and innovation; and support for dementia carers.