Are We Heading Towards Mental Apocalypse?

The future of humanity looks worryingly forgetful. The number of people suffering Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia is set to double over the next 20 years, according to a new report published yesterday.

The report, published by Alzheimer's Disease International, is based on research carried out by a team led by Professor Martin Prince from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London. It predicts that 35 million people will suffer from dementia by 2010, but that that figure will rise to 65.7 million by 2030, and then to upwards of 115 million by 2050, and calls upon the World Health Organization to make dementia a priority for research, in the hopes of lessening pressure on sufferers and caregivers, according to Marc Wortmann, ADI's executive director:

The crisis of dementia and Alzheimer's can no longer be ignored. Unchecked Alzheimer's will impose enormous burdens on individuals, families, healthcare infrastructures and the global economy... There is hope yet, if action is taken now to fund improvements in dementia care services, and to increase investment in research.

Dementia cases to double in next 20 years, say researchers [Guardian.co.uk]