September is World Alzheimer’s Month, which is an annual international campaign to raise awareness about dementia.
Dementia is a broad term used to describe brain disorders which cause a loss of certain brain functions. These can include memory problems, confusion, personality changes and impaired reasoning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting 62% of those diagnosed.
The number of people affected by dementia – in the UK and around the world – is growing. According to Alzheimer’s Society, 850,000 people in the UK are currently living with dementia. And shockingly, 40,000 of those affected are under 65. It’s predicted that the number of people suffering from the condition is set to grow to over 1 million by 2025.
The cost to the economy
The misinformation and stigma surrounding dementia is still a big problem globally. The September campaign aims to highlight the importance of early detection and diagnosis of dementia. The campaign also aims to raise awareness of the under-funding dementia research faces. For every person in the UK living with dementia, the annual cost to the UK economy is over £30,000, yet the amount spent on dementia research each year is nowhere near this figure.
More information about Alzheimer’s and dementia is available from the Alzheimer’s Society website at www.alzheimers.org.uk