Can technology help defuse the dementia time bomb?
Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. It is an umbrella term for the symptoms of around 100 different brain diseases, that cause problems with memory, language skills, mental agility, understanding and judgement. Alzheimer's is the most common, accounting for nearly two-thirds of cases.
44 million people worldwide now have dementia, and this figure is expected to triple by 2050, as the global population ages. In the UK alone, dementia currently affects more than 800,000 people, with the annual cost of care per person greater than the average salary.
Although some medical treatments do slow the progression of some types of dementia, there is currently no cure. Round-the-clock help is often needed, but for many a live-in carer is not practical or affordable. So scientists have started to look at ways that technology can support people with dementia and help them live independently for as long as possible.
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