AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 3, 2017

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Levels of Dementia May be Stabilizing in Europe

The number of people worldwide living with dementia is estimated to increase from 47.5 million to 75.6 million by 2030. However, researchers from the University of Cambridge recently collected data from five large epidemiological studies that focused on the rate of dementia occurrence, and found that the incidence rate has been falling across time and generations. The five studies analyzed were based in Europe, and were taken from Sweden, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain. In the UK, there was a significant reduction of 22 percent in the prevalence of dementia for people 65 years and older, compared with earlier predicted figures. This drop has resulted in the estimated number of patients diagnosed with the condition to stabilize. There was also a significant reduction in dementia prevalence for individuals 65 years and older in Spain, with a drop of 43 percent between 1987-1996. Data from the other studies in Sweden and the Netherlands demonstrate that age-specific incidences of dementia are also falling. Researchers say that the results indicate dementia has fallen in conjunction with improvements in protective factors against the disease. However, despite the encouraging results, the researchers note that the challenge of providing care for those with the disease still remains. To read more about this study, click here.

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