Dementia development is even more dramatic than expected

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40,000 additional people with dementia annually, and those affected will double by 2050

The number of people with dementia in Germany is increasing dramatically. New calculations commissioned by the German Alzheimer Society have shown that 1.4 million people with dementia already live in Germany today and the number is expected to double by 2050. Around 300,000 people develop new dementia every year.

According to the German Alzheimer's Association, 300,000 primary diseases of dementia are recorded in Germany every year. Due to "the demographic changes, there are far more new illnesses than deaths among those already sick," the company said. This results in a continuous increase in dementia patients. The new calculations by the expert Dr. According to Horst Bickel from the psychiatric clinic and polyclinic of the Technical University of Munich, around 40,000 a year. Overall, Bickel expects an increase from 1.4 million people with dementia to around three million in 2050 if there is no breakthrough in prevention and / or therapy.

More than 100 additional dementia patients per day According to the figures of the German Alzheimer Society, 1.4 million people in Germany already suffer from the neurodegenerative disease dementia, two thirds of them from Alzheimer's. For those affected, the disease is a massive cut in their lives. They experience an increasing loss of their cognitive skills and memory. Those affected are relatively quickly dependent on all-day care because they can no longer find their way in everyday life alone. Based on current medical knowledge, there is no prospect of successful treatment. The expected further increase of 40,000 patients per year or more than 100 patients per day as a result of demographic change will therefore pose a significant challenge for society.

Dementia risk rises sharply with age The chairman of the German Alzheimer Society, Heike von Lützau-Hohlbein, spoke of “terrifying numbers that should be an incentive for everyone involved to do more to help people with dementia today and in the future can lead a decent life and receive adequate support for their families. ”Dr. Horst Bickel are based "on the current prevalence rates determined by the umbrella organization Alzheimer Europe (Luxembourg) (percentage of sick people in a certain age group)," reports the German Alzheimer Society. These prevalence rates rise sharply with age. In the age group of 65 to 69 years old, for example, they are 1.6 percent, while they already reach 15.7 percent in the 80 to 84 year olds and 41 percent in the over 90 year olds. According to information from the German Alzheimer Society, two thirds of those affected have already reached the age of 80, and almost 70 percent of those affected are women.

Regional Differences in Dementia Diseases Due to the regionally different age structure of the population, the number of people affected in the individual federal states is very different. For example, the German Alzheimer's Association reports a rate of illness of over 65-year-olds in Brandenburg, which is 7.9 percent, while in Rhineland-Palatinate even nine percent of over-65-year-olds are affected. According to the experts, this is due to the difference in the age structure of people over the age of 65. According to the figures of the German Alzheimer Society, the absolutely most people with dementia can be found in the most populous state, North Rhine-Westphalia, with 314,000 people affected.

Aging of the population causes increasing dementia diseases Since, according to the Federal Statistical Office's forecasts, the number of people over 65 will increase by a further seven million in the next few decades, a significant increase in dementia patients can be expected against this background alone. The “disproportionate increase in the very elderly” in turn makes a further contribution to the increasing spread of Alzheimer's and dementia, according to the German Alzheimer's Association. And nobody could say. "We didn't expect that, or we didn't know it." The results of the current calculations are provided in detail by the German Alzheimer Society in the information sheet "The Epidemiology of Dementia".

Alzheimer's and dementia research is in full swing The figures from the German Alzheimer's Society make it clear that dementia will become a major challenge for society as a whole in the coming decades. Almost five percent of the population in Germany will suffer from the neurodegenerative disease in 2050 if there are no groundbreaking successes in treatment and prevention. Since the problem applies to many of the modern industrialized nations, it is hardly surprising that Alzheimer's and dementia research is currently in full swing. In the past years, clear explanations of the causes of the disease have been achieved. However, scientists worldwide have so far not been able to convert their results into a promising treatment method. The therapy approaches that have already been tried out only allow a delay in the course of the disease, but no cure.

A change in awareness for Germany is required
In the meantime, the Institute for Social Research and Social Research in Saarbrücken called for "a change in awareness in order to take dementia out of its fright". The researchers examined the different dementia strategies of the European countries on behalf of the German government. Four key aspects could improve the situation of dementia patients: Adequate educational work, effective support for the sick and their family members, improved care and strengthening of research work. (fp, sb)

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