More than 35 million people have dementia worldwide, according to new report

Global community promoting importance of early diagnosis

TORONTO, Sept. 21 /CNW/ - Startling new statistics on the worldwide prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias are being released today as countries across the globe join together in recognition of World Alzheimer's Day.

According to the World Alzheimer Report, released today by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI), an estimated 35.6 million people worldwide will be living with dementia in 2010. This is a 10 per cent increase over previous global dementia prevalence reported in 2005 in The Lancet. According to the new report, dementia prevalence will nearly double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050.

"The information in the 2009 World Alzheimer Report makes it clear that the crisis of dementia cannot be ignored," says Debbie Benczkowski, Interim CEO of the Alzheimer Society of Canada. "Unchecked, dementia will impose enormous burdens on individuals, families, health care infrastructures, and global economy."

The report also focuses on the impact of dementia. For example, statistics cited in the new report suggest that 40 to 75 per cent of caregivers have significant psychological illness as a result of their caregiving, and 15 to 32 per cent have depression. Challenges faced by governments and health care systems worldwide are also outlined, and eight global recommendations are offered based on report findings.

This international report is being delivered today amongst a global message of Diagnosing Dementia: See it Sooner. The Alzheimer Society is joining Alzheimer organizations across the world, speaking out about the importance of early diagnosis.

"Early diagnosis is an essential first step towards receiving appropriate help and support. Delay in diagnosis means that people with dementia and their caregivers suffer unnecessarily from uncertainty about what is happening, are deprived of the treatment and care they need, and are unable to begin planning for the future," says Dr. Jack Diamond, Scientific Director of the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

The full 2009 World Alzheimer Report, including the methodology used to prepare it, can be found at www.alz.co.uk/worldreport

Alzheimer Society

There are currently about half a million Canadians living with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, or 1 in 11 over the age of 65. The Alzheimer Society is the leading, nationwide health organization for people affected by dementia in Canada. The Society is a principal funder of Alzheimer research and training, provides enhanced care and support to people with the disease, their families and their caregivers, and is a prominent voice within all levels of government. Active in more than 140 communities across Canada, the Society is also a founding member of ADI. For more information please visit www.alzheimer.ca

Alzheimer's Disease International

ADI is an international federation of 71 Alzheimer associations around the world, in official relations with the World Health Organization. Each member is the national Alzheimer association in their country that supports people with dementia and their families. ADI's mission is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their families throughout the world. For more information please visit www.alz.co.uk/adi

SOURCE Alzheimer Society of Canada

For further information: For further information: Patricia Wilkinson, Manager, Media & Government Relations, Office: 1-800-616-8816 or (416) 847-2959, Mobile: (416) 669-5715, pwilkinson@alzheimer.ca


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