By Faranak Bakhtiari

Let's be patient with Alzheimer's patients

September 20, 2021 - 17:31

TEHRAN – Paying attention to the elderly and treating them with respect and dignity is one of the strategies that can be effective in preventing the occurrence of Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia is not a specific disease. It's an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person's ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer's disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.

Someone million people are diagnosed with Alzheimer's nationwide, which has undoubtedly increased due to the coronavirus pandemic and its complications, Health Minister Bahram Einollahi has said.

One million Iranians are diagnosed with Alzheimer's nationwide. Einollahi made the remarks in a statement on the occasion of World Alzheimer's Day, annually held September 21, which is held with the theme of ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’, this year.

Alzheimer's is a complication of old age that destroys the gray matter cells of the brain with age and impairs memory, he said, concluding that people should increase their awareness to be patient when treating with Alzheimer’s patients.

Aging Iran and dementia

According to global statistics, it is estimated that every 7 minutes one person develops dementia in Iran, the figure will rise considerably during the next three decades due to Iran’s aging population.

Literacy is one of the most important factors in preventing Alzheimer's disease. Also, due to the increase in noise pollution, hearing impairment may occur in old age, and we strongly recommend the use of hearing aids for elderly people so that they can communicate with others and not be isolated.

It is important to prevent head injuries in childhood; and diseases such as high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia, etc. after the age of 40 can be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, because leaving these chronic diseases untreated, can even damage the cerebrovascular vessels.

Dementia prevalence worldwide

Every 3 seconds someone in the world is affected by Alzheimer’s. Worldwide there are some 50 million people who suffer from dementia, which includes Alzheimer’s. This is more than the population of Spain and the number is steadily increasing.
More than $1.1 trillion is now being spent on Alzheimer's disease worldwide.

The estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between 5-8 percent.

Within the next 20 years, the number of people affected by dementia will likely double. More than 130 million people will be afflicted by 2050. This is according to data from the latest World Alzheimer’s Report published annually by Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI), the worldwide federation of Alzheimer’s associations in London.

Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that primarily or secondarily affect the brain, such as Alzheimer's disease or stroke.

Dementia has significant social and economic implications in terms of direct medical and social care costs, and the costs of informal care. In 2015, the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be $818 billion, equivalent to 1.1 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). The total cost as a proportion of GDP varied from 0.2 percent in low- and middle-income countries to 1.4 percent in high-income countries.

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