AUG 26, 2015 11:28 PM PDT

Dementia Doubling

WRITTEN BY: Ilene Schneider
Health researchers claim that there are now almost 47 million people living with dementia around the world, an increase from 35 million in 2009. The researchers cautioned that unless there is a medical breakthrough, numbers are likely to double every 20 years, according to an Associated Press story published in Bioscience Technology.
Number of people with dementia is growing worldwide.
 
In a report issued recently, researchers from Alzheimer's Disease International said that approximately 58 percent of all people with dementia live in developing countries and that by 2050, nearly half of the people with the disease will live in Asia. These numbers are likely to grow with aging populations and as more cases are identified.
 
Experts projected that the cost of treating dementia could accelerate to $1 trillion in just three years and called for governments to adopt legislation to guarantee better treatment for people with dementia, for which there is no known cure.
 
Dementia, which is not a specific disease, is an overall term describing “a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common type of dementia. Many other conditions can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.
 
Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as "senility" or "senile dementia," which reflects the idea that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. The decline is memory that comes with dementia is severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.
 
Many dementias are progressive. Symptoms start out slowly and gradually get worse. Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition, and early diagnosis enables people to obtain the maximum benefit from available treatments while providing time to plan for the future.
 
About the Author
Ilene Schneider is the owner of Schneider the Writer, a firm that provides communications for health care, high technology and service enterprises. Her specialties include public relations, media relations, advertising, journalistic writing, editing, grant writing and corporate creativity consulting services. Prior to starting her own business in 1985, Ilene was editor of the Cleveland edition of TV Guide, associate editor of School Product News (Penton Publishing) and senior public relations representative at Beckman Instruments, Inc. She was profiled in a book, How to Open and Operate a Home-Based Writing Business and listed in Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in Advertising and Who's Who in Media and Communications. She was the recipient of the Women in Communications, Inc. Clarion Award in advertising. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Ilene and her family have lived in Irvine, California, since 1978.
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