Almost 50% of all people living with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis.

Almost 50% of all people living with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis.
 



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Three fourths of those surveyed term sufferers impulsive and unpredictable

Almost a quarter of Indians surveyed said that they considered those suffering from dementia to be “dangerous” and about three-fourths opined that those with dementia are “impulsive and unpredictable,” according to a report released by Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), a London-based non-profit organisation.

The survey by the London School of Economics (LSE) was meant to gauge attitudes towards dementia among those suffering from dementia, health practitioners and care givers and surveyed about 70,000 people in 155 countries.

The study estimates that as much as 50% of all people living with dementia never receive a formal diagnosis and in China and India, this lack of diagnosis is much higher, perhaps as high as 70-90%.

The number of those with dementia worldwide is set to increase to 152 million by 2050, according to the report. The current annual cost of dementia is estimated at $1 trillion (approximately), a figure that is set to double by 2030.

“In the survey analysis, we highlight the behavioural element first, giving prominence to the voices and experiences of people living with dementia as direct assessment of actual behaviour is central to discrimination and is the closest representation of the true impact of stigma on people living with dementia,” wrote the authors of the report.

Population projections in India suggest that there will be one elderly person for every 3 in the working-age population by 2100 and a concomitant rise in elderly suffering from dementia as the prevalence of dementia in the elderly increases, according to a 2018 report in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry.

Palapable fear

The ADI report, made public on Friday on the eve of Alzheimer’s Day, finds that 95% of global respondents think they will develop dementia in their lifetime and 78% are concerned about developing dementia at some point. One in 4 believe that there is nothing you can do about dementia and 2 out of 3 think dementia is caused by normal ageing. Just under 40% of the public think that there are adequate community services for people living with dementia and for carers and just under 70% of people think there are adequate competent physicians for the diagnosis and treatment of dementia.