Dementia

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    In Context 

    • The number of dementia cases in India is expected to almost double by 2050, according to a Lancet report. 

    Major Points 

    • Worldwide, the caseload is set to almost triple to 153 million in 2050 from 57 million in 2019.
    • The highest increase in cases is projected for North Africa and the Middle East (367 per cent) and eastern sub-Saharan Africa (357 per cent).
    • Causes :
      • Population growth and population ageing will be the leading cause behind this rise.

    About Dementia 

    • It is a syndrome in which there is deterioration in cognitive function beyond what might be expected from the usual consequences of biological ageing.
    • Although dementia mainly affects older people, it is not an inevitable consequence of ageing.
      • Currently, more than 55 million people live with dementia worldwide, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year.
    • Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain. 
      • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60-70% of cases.
        • It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language, and judgement. 
          • Consciousness is not affected. 
    • Impacts: 
      • It has significant social and economic implications in terms of direct medical and social care costs, and the costs of informal care.
      • There is often a lack of awareness and understanding of dementia, resulting in stigmatization and barriers to diagnosis and care.
    • Treatment and care:
    • There is currently no treatment available to cure dementia. 
      • Anti-dementia medicines and disease-modifying therapies developed to date have limited efficacy and are primarily labelled for Alzheimer’s disease, though numerous new treatments are being investigated in various stages of clinical trials.
    • WHO response:
      • WHO recognizes dementia as a public health priority
        • In May 2017, the World Health Assembly endorsed the Global action plan on the public health response to dementia 2017-2025.

    Source: DTE