It is syndrome associated with an ongoing decline of brain functions. It has many different types, with symptoms of memory loss, difficulty in usual activities, language difficulties and change is personality.
Dementia can affect anyone – regardless of sex, ethnicity, social or economic affiliation. Although there are some key risk factors (e.g. lack of physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption) and some conditions that helps its emergence (like high blood pressure, diabetes, former injuries to the head or hearing impairment) their existance or absence does not define whether the disease will develop or not. Alzheimer’s disease is its most common form, adding up to 60-70% of all patients suffering from dementia.
Age is a key risk factor that needs to be highlighted. Dementia usually emerges in old age and the higher the individual’s age is, the higher the probability of affection to dementia.
is affected by dementia
if we consider people over 80 years of age
According to the latest estimations, there are currently
suffering from one of the forms of dementia
This number in 2005
And will be around
There is a new case of dementia worldwide
In Hungary currently there are
This rapid growth is due to several factors. First, in developed countries life expectancy at birth has risen (and still continues to rise), so people can live longer. Above this, you can hear about the so-called aging society – this means that beside we are living longer, the ratio of elder people in our society grows.
According to current scientific knowledge there is no cure for dementia, however its progress can be slowed down significantly by applying appropriate treatment. The starting point of such treatment is always the recognition of the disease at the earliest possible time.
In the past peolpe suffering from dementia were thought to lose their individuality and personality with time. It was a common assumption that due to brain damages they will slowly lose their humanity – therefore people suffering from dementia were often believed they cannot act on their own right. Nowadays during treatments of dementia doctors more and more take into consideration the personal history, preferences and needs wich significantly slows down the progress of the disease. Although Alzheimer’s disease (along with most types of dementia) is incurable, the difficulties like restlessness and depression that come along with it can be treated. Moreover, especially in case of early recognized dementia, it is possible to improve patients’ memory with proper medication.
Unfortunately though, dementia is one of the illnesses that are recognized only in latter stages even nowadays.
According to a research in 2019, involving almost 70 000 respondents from 155 countries, the following statements can be made:
think that dementia is caused by normal ageing
think that there is nothing we can do to prevent dementia
thinks that they could develop dementia at some point in their life
of the general public thinks that there are adequate services in place for people living in dementia
Above this, the research included questions about the attitudes of healthcare practitioners:
still think that dementia is part of normal ageing
of the public thinks that healthcare practitioners ignore people with dementia
of dementia carers expressed positive sentiments about their role
of them stated that their health suffered as a result of caring
of dementia carers said their social life suffered as a result of caring responsibilities
Alzheimer’s Disease International World Alzheimer Report 2019
making it possible to slow down the progress of dementia with proper treatment.
to track the eficiency of the prescribed treatment programs, therefore making it easier to customize them.
to fill their schedule more efficiently and focus more on the patients most in need.