Spain is one of the countries in the world with the highest proportion of Alzheimer’s patients among people over 60 years of age, with a total of 800,000 cases, and the prevalence of this disease is expected to double in the next two decades as a result of aging of the population. This is highlighted by the Spanish Neurology Society (SEN) on the occasion of the celebration of the World Alzheimer’s Day, a neurological disease that constitutes the first cause of disability and that, throughout the world, affects more than 40 million people.
It is the most common type of neurodegenerative dementia, although it is estimated that 80% of cases that are still mild are undiagnosed. Age is the main risk factor and, due to the longer life expectancy of women, its prevalence is currently three times higher than in men.
According to the SEN, Spain is one of the countries in the world with the highest proportion of Alzheimer’s cases among people over 60 years of age: 5% of 65-year-olds suffer from the disease and in those over 90 the percentage increases to 40%. Although age is the first and most important risk marker for developing Alzheimer’s, others such as high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, smoking or diabetes also play a role.
Having suffered head injuries also increases the risk of developing dementia. The Pasqual Maragall Foundation commemorates this day with the motto # undíaparaolvidar, to vindicate the importance of investing in research to find a cure for this disease and highlight the need to promote outreach to change its social perception.
The covid-19 pandemic especially affects these patients, the majority of whom are elderly, with previous pathologies and many of them in residences, who have suffered the worst consequences of confinement, being isolated from their environment and away from their routines , which has contributed to a deterioration of his disease.