Dementia affecting people earlier than ever…



Professor Colin Pritchard’s latest research published in journal Public
Health has found that the sharp rise of dementia and other neurological
deaths in people under 74 cannot be put down to the fact that we are
living longer. The rise is because a higher proportion of old people
are being affected by such conditions — and what is really alarming, it
is starting earlier and affecting people under 55 years.

Of the 10 biggest Western countries the USA had the worst increase in
all neurological deaths, men up 66 per cent and women 92 per cent
between 1979-2010. The UK was 4th highest, men up 32 per cent and women
48 per cent. In terms of numbers of deaths, in the UK, it was 4,500 and
now 6,500, in the USA it was 14,500 now more than 28,500 deaths.


Professor Pritchard of Bournemouth University says: “These statistics
are about real people and families, and we need to recognise that there
is an ‘epidemic’ that clearly is influenced by environmental and
societal changes.”

Tessa Gutteridge, Director YoungDementia UK says that our society needs
to learn that dementia is increasingly affecting people from an earlier
age: “The lives of an increasing number of families struggling with
working-age dementia are made so much more challenging by services
which fail to keep pace with their needs and a society which believes
dementia to be an illness of old age.”

Bournemouth University researchers, Professor Colin Pritchard and Dr
Andrew Mayers, along with the University of Southampton’s Professor
David Baldwin show that there are rises in total neurological deaths,
including the dementias, which are starting earlier, impacting upon
patients, their families and health and social care services,
exemplified by an 85 per cent increase in UK Motor Neurone Disease
deaths.

• Source: sciencedaily.com

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