London, September 21 (ANI): Experts at King's College London say that it has been underestimated how many people worldwide may get afflicted by Alzheimer's and other types of dementia in future.
In a report, they say that over 115 million people across the globe will suffer from dementia by 2050.
Their prediction is 10 per cent more than previous figures published in 2005, driven mainly by new figures from South Asia and Latin America.
Their research is part of the 2009 World Alzheimer's Report, published by Alzheimer's Disease International.
It suggests that there may be 35 million people worldwide with dementia by next year.
That number is set to almost double every 20 years, to 65.7 million in 2030 and 115.4 million in 2050, says the report.
The research even suggests that the proportion of older people who have dementia is higher than previously thought in some parts of the world.
Professor Martin Prince, from King's College, said that the numbers involved were "staggering".
"The current investment in research, treatment and care is actually quite disproportionate to the overall impact of the disease on people with dementia, the carers, on health and social care systems, and on society," the BBC quoted him as saying.
The experts say in their report that advances in healthcare and nutrition will have the biggest impact in poorer countries, and, consequently, the number of older people is set to increase rapidly.
Alzheimer Disease International stressed the need for more countries to follow the lead of Australia, France, Korea and the UK in developing action plans to tackle the impact of the disease.
The Alzheimer's Disease Society said that the UK could still do more, with one million people set to develop the illness in the next decade.
A spokesman said: "This shows the scale of the challenge. This worldwide problem needs a response from every nation and the UK government must play a key part." (ANI)