The following article was written by the Associated Press, and Published in the Albuquerque Journal on June 12, 2007. I think it's a reminder to all of us, young and old, to pay more attention to mental illness, and to do our part, to eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness.
* * *
WASHINGTON - More than 26 million people worldwide have Alzheimer's disease, and a new forecast says the number will quadruple by 2050.
At that rate, one in 85 people will have the brain-destroying disease in 40 years, researchers from Johns Hopkins University conclude. The new estimates, being presented today at the Alzheimer's Association conference in Washington, are not very different from previous projections of the looming global dementia epidemic with the graying of the world's population.
But they serve as a sobering reminder of the toll to come if scientists cannot find better ways to battle Alzheimer's and protect aging brains. The biggest jump is projected for densely populated Asia, home of almost half of today's Alzheimer;s cases, 12.6 million. By 2050, Asia will have 62.8 million of the world's 106 million Alzheimer's patients, the study projects.
A recent U.S. study estimated that this nation's Alzheimer's toll will reach 16 million by 2050, compared with more than 5 million today. The new estimate is signficantly lower suggesting only 3.1 million North American cases today and 8.8 million by 2050.