Dementia will hit 1.2 million Brits by 2028

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London, Mar 23 : A Government forecast has shown that more than a million people in Britain will suffer from dementia within 20 years.

According to experts, the number of patients diagnosed with diseases such as Alzheimer's will increase by 70 per cent to more than 1.2 million by 2028.

According to psychiatrists and charities, not enough is being spent on research, treatment and care, which is possibly leading to the rise of the disease.

The report by the Department of Health's Horizon Scanning Unit Drugs also showed that drugs such as Aricept, which slow the appearance of the symptoms of Alzheimer's, are restricted by the NHS because they cost 2.50 pounds a day, despite being widely available in other countries.

The research revealed that the number of people aged over 85 would have doubled by 2028. One in four will develop dementia.

The number between 65 and 74 will also increase by 40 per cent and those aged 75 to 84 will rise by 50 per cent.

According to the Alzheimer's Society charity, the document's findings would mean an extra 500,000 people living with dementia.

There are 700,000 at present. The cost of long-term care for dementia patients will more than triple to 17 billion pounds.

Prof David Wilkinson, a psychiatric consultant of Southampton University, described the figures as 'staggering' and called for urgent action to increase funding and research for Alzheimer's, the most common cause of dementia.

Currently, 11 pound is spent on research into dementia for every sufferer in this country, as compared to 289 pounds for every cancer victim.

Wilkinson said he was ashamed by the appalling treatment and services provided to many patients.

"If someone has cancer you don't wait until it has spread until you start treating it. This is a lethal degenerative condition and we should be tackling it from the start," the Telegraph quoted Wilkinson, as saying.

He also said the care for those at the later stages of the disease were inadequate.

"We are warehousing these people in nursing homes, that's what we are doing with them. It's appalling."

Neil Hunt, the chief executive of the society, said the forecasts call for urgent need to increase services and research.

"We know that delaying the onset of dementia by five years would halve the number of deaths from Alzheimer's. If we are to defeat dementia it is vital we invest in more research," he said.

ANI

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