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UK 'faces growing dementia threat'

24 September 2015 09:37

Dementia usually affects people over the age of 65

Dementia usually affects people over the age of 65

One in three people born in the UK this year may develop dementia during their lifetime, new figures suggest.

Alzheimer's Research UK warns of a looming "national health crisis", as people continue to live longer.

The charity's latest analysis estimates 27% of boys and 37% of girls born in 2015 will develop dementia.

Alzheimer's disease

Dementia is a common condition associated with problems to do with memory loss, thinking speed, mental agility, language, understanding and judgement.

It affects 850,000 people in the UK, usually those over the age of 65.

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer's disease, which affects almost 500,000 people nationwide.

Individuals who are receiving treatment for or living with dementia can still enjoy holidaying overseas thanks to Alzheimer's travel insurance.

Policies can also cover illnesses relating to the condition and can provide cover for the whole family, including carers.

New treatments

As dementia progresses, people can experience difficulty with walking, balance and swallowing.

Age is the biggest risk factor for the condition, according to Alzheimer's Research UK.

The charity is calling for greater efforts around the world to help develop new treatments to ensure people can enjoy their later years in good health.

Previous research estimates that the development of a drug which could delay the onset of dementia by five years would cut the number of cases by a third.

Dr Matthew Norton, head of policy at Alzheimer's Research UK, describes dementia as the greatest medical challenge facing society.

He claims more investment is needed in research to find new treatments and preventions.

As people live longer than ever before, the numbers with dementia will rise. Actions now will help determine the future for children born today, adds Dr Norton.