Dementia is the decline in memory and other thinking skills which results in failure of daily activities of a person. It is prevalent among elderly people. This disease is rising at an alarming level in the world particularly in India from 1990 to 2016. This study was published in a neurological journal Lancet. The study was conducted by HSE professor Vasily Vlasov and his team consisting of notable international scientists. Data’s from 195 countries between 1990 and 2016 on the spread of Dementia and related Alzheimer’s disease were analyzed by them.
About 43.8 million people suffer globally from dementia in 2016. In this 43.8 million people, 16.8 million were men and 27 million were women. This number rose from 20.2 million in the 1990s. There has been a 149 percent increase in dementia deaths over 26 year period. Particularly in India from 1990 to 2016, 2.9 million cases were reported of which 1.4 lakh people died. The report says Dementia secures a fifth place in causing death worldwide among elderly people. It also occupies the second position after coronary heart disease.
The causes of Dementia are high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and diet, high Body Mass Index (BMI), smoking and intake of any tobacco products as per these researchers. Genetics, stroke, head injury, vascular diseases also contribute to Dementia.
Dementia is a progressive disease which is irreversible. The cost of treatment is high and estimated around 600 billion dollars in developed countries. In developing countries like India, this cost burden is taken up by the family individual which could not be accounted. Families also take up the responsibility of formal and informal needs of the demented member.
The rising occurrence of dementia owing to increase in the incidence of Alzheimer disease and the growing prevalence of geriatric population worldwide is anticipated to drive the demand for the dementia drug manufacturing companies. The two main medicines prescribed for dementia are cholinesterase inhibitors and memantine. Allergan, Eisai and Otsuka are the major drug manufacturing companies. A number of companies like Roche, Eli Lilly, Biogen, Merck & Co etc are researching on dementia patients. For instance, an international team of researchers found new genetic clues to diagnose the dementia disease at an early stage through gene editing technology. Moreover, other major players have the number of drugs in the pipeline stage which are expected to be commercialized by 2022.