09/22/2010 04:04 pm ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Time for a 'World Cognitive Reserve' Day?

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?

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?