One in three UK new-borns this year will develop dementia: Study

22 September 2015

One in three people born this year in the UK would develop dementia, new figures showed.

The Alzheimer's Research UK charity warned that a ''national health crisis'' loomed with the ageing population.

The charity called for greater global efforts to help develop new treatments.

Dementia, which results in the loss of brain cells affects 850,000 people in the UK.

The most common type was Alzheimer's disease.

Among the early symptoms are problems with memory and thinking and as the disease progresses, patients experience difficulty with walking, balance and swallowing.

According to Alzheimer's Research UK, age was the biggest risk factor for developing dementia.

The latest analysis, commissioned by the charity and carried out by the Office of Health Economics, was released to mark World Alzheimer's Day.

It showed 27 per cent of boys born in 2015 would develop the condition in their lifetime, alongside 37 per cent of girls.

According to earlier research from the same team the development of a drug that could delay the onset of dementia by five years would cut the number of cases by a third.

Matthew Norton, head of policy at Alzheimer's Research UK, said, ''It's wonderful news that each generation is living longer than the last, but it's important to ensure that people can enjoy these extra years in good health.

''Dementia is our greatest medical challenge and, if we are to beat it, we must invest in research to find new treatments and preventions.

''Research has the power to transform lives, and our actions now will help determine the future for children born today.''

Australia is expected to see some 900,000 suffer the severe loss of brain cells by 2050.

The figure was expected to get worse as the Australian population aged.

''Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia and the single greatest cause of disability for people over 65,'' said Dr Maria O'Reilly, research fellow in the Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at the recent release of a new dementia respite care guidebook.

Currently, one in 10 over-65s and one in three over-85s have dementia.

''There are more than a million people caring for others with dementia in Australia now and that figure is set to grow quite dramatically,'' O'Reilly said.

''According to Alzheimer's Australia there are now more 342,800 Australians living with dementia, a figure that will almost triple by 2050 without a medical breakthrough.

''It's increasingly critical that we look after the carers and help them navigate the support that is out there in the form of things like respite care.''

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