Photo by Mauricio Lima/AFP/Getty Images.
Cases of people living with dementia will double in the next two decades and triple in the next four, according to new data from the World Health Organization.
The Associated Press reports that scientists say that increased life expectancy and better medical care in developing countries will result in a spike in the rates of the brain illness, which affected about 35.6 million people in 2010. By 2050, the health agency predicts there will be 115 million people suffering from dementia, largely in low or middle-income nations.
The steep incline in dementia will also prove to be a financial burden for families taking care of their affected relatives. About $604 billions is currently spent on the health and social care of dementia, which is often caused by Alzheimer’s.
Reuters points out that diagnosing and caring for dementia is still an international problem, even in higher income countries. So far, eight countries including Britain and Japan have national dementia programs. The United Staties currently works through state-level programs.
"We need to increase our capacity to detect dementia early and to provide the necessary health and social care. Much can be done to decrease the burden of dementia," said Dr Oleg Chestnov, an assistant director-general at WHO. "Health-care workers are often not adequately trained to recognize dementia."