Yesterday was World Alzheimer's Day. To raise awareness and funds, associations worldwide organized multiple activities including important Memory Walks, and a new report helped quantify the growing personal and economic burden of the disease.
Among the report findings:
- Close to 36 million people worldwide have dementia today
- Dementia care costs around 1 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP), or 604 billion U.S. dollars. Of these, 252 billion represent sent indirect costs of care, while annual direct medical costs account for 96 billion, and direct non-medical costs for 256 billion
- By 2030, world wide societal costs will increase by over 85 percent
The good news?
- That the number one reason for the bad news is simple: we live longer than ever before
- That, while there is nothing we can do today to prevent Alzheimer's pathology, there is much we can do, as individuals and as a society, to build up Cognitive Reserve and significantly delay cognitive decline and Alzheimer's symptoms
Which is why there is so much ongoing innovation to develop tools to efficiently measure and enhance cognitive functioning and reserve and to foster active aging.
Time perhaps for a World Cognitive Reserve Day?