Dementia cases projected to triple by 2050

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 4:05 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Alzheimer’s Association has announced global dementia cases are projected to triple by 2050 due to anticipated trends in smoking, high body mass index, and high blood sugar.

This would increase the prevalence of the disease by 6.8 million cases.

Meanwhile, trends in global education access are expected to decrease dementia prevalence worldwide by 6.2 million cases by the year 2050.

Both determinations were made according to new global prevalence data reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® (AAIC®) 2021 in Denver.

There are also new data finding an association between COVID and long-term cognitive dysfunction, which could accelerate Alzheimer’s.

Katie McDonough, Director of Program & Services for the Southeast Virginia Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, says more research is needed, but symptoms of COVID like brain fog and lost of smell and taste were concerning.

“The findings do suggest that people who have had COVID-19 may have an acceleration of Alzheimer’s-related pathology,” says McDonough, who says people should be taking precautions now to ensure they don’t get severe symptoms from COVID, like getting vaccinated.

Another tip; keeping up with your cardiovascular health, and staying in contact with their doctors if you begin experiencing symptoms of cognitive decline.

McDonough says much of Alzheimer’s prevention is centered around heart health, blood pressure, and healthy cholesterol levels.

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