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G8 Summit should lead to further dementia research

It is hoped that the current high numbers of dementia patients will become a major focus at next week’s G8 summit in London, after figures were released which suggest that the number of sufferers is expected to drastically increase in the coming years.

It is hoped that the current high numbers of dementia patients will become a major focus at next week’s G8 summit in London, after figures were released which suggest that the number of sufferers is expected to drastically increase in the coming years.

The figures, which were released by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), state that there are currently 44 million people living with the disease worldwide. They also estimate that this number could rise to 76 million by 2030, and perhaps 135 million by 2050.

A general term for describing a decline in the body’s mental functions, dementia can refer to loss of orientation and judgement, as well as memory and language.

With new-found technologies and huge advancements in medical science, the life expectancy of people all over the world is expected to steadily increase in the future – an issue which it is thought may lead to a surge in Alzheimer’s cases across the world.

With the projection by the ADI a full 17 per cent higher than what the institution estimated in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report, it shows that more research into the condition should be seen as imperative.

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the UK’s Alzheimer’s Society, has suggested that dementia could become one of the largest health issues of this generation, calling for meaningful action in helping to avoid the huge predicted rise. He also touched on the importance of research, suggesting that delaying the symptoms by five years could easily halve the amount of people expected to be affected – transforming the lives of millions living at home or in nursing care facilities.

The importance of the G8 Summit was also declared by ADI executive Director Mark Wortmann, who said that it gives a chance to rally nations all over the world to apply a sustained increase into future dementia research.

It is also hoped that the alarming figures could lead towards an injection of government funding into dementia research – a project which currently receives just an eighth of the amount which is spent on studies into cancer.

Image Credit: Richard Lyons (Shutterstock.com)