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“Dementia Can Begin Early”

A frightening thought is the loss of one’s memory. An estimated 5.2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) or some other form of dementia and those numbers will jump to 13.8 million by 2050. Until now, the general consensus was that the onset of cognitive decline, associated with dementia, did not begin until 60. A study published in the British Medical Journal, conducted by an Inserm research team, shows that our memory and capacity for reasoning and understanding start to decline at the age of 45. The study estimated 43.8 million cases of dementia worldwide in 2016, which represented an increase of 117% from the number of cases in 1990 (20.2 million). The highest age-standardized prevalence rates of dementia were reported in Turkey and Brazil, and the lowest were found in Nigeria and Ghana. Dementia was the fifth-leading cause of mortality worldwide in 2016. The age-standardized prevalence of dementia was 17% higher among women vs men in 2016, and the number of women who died of dementia was nearly double that of men. Tragically, nearly a half-million new Alzheimer’s cases will be diagnosed annually. The prevalence of dementia approximately doubled for every 5-year increase in age between 50 and 80 years. Increased life expectancy implies a significant rise in the number of elderly people. clinical studies demonstrate a correlation between the presence of amyloid plaques in the brain and the severity of cognitive decline. It would seem that these amyloid plaques are found in the brains of young adults.

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