LONDON, September 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- A landmark report on the Global Economic Impact of Dementia finds that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are exacting a massive toll on the global economy, with the problem set to accelerate in coming years. The World Alzheimer Report 2010 - issued on World Alzheimer's Day by Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) - provides the most current and comprehensive global picture of the economic and social costs of the illness. The Report was jointly authored by Prof Anders Wimo of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm; and Prof Martin Prince, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London.

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This is a wake-up call that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are the single most significant health and social crisis of the 21st century, said Dr Daisy Acosta, Chairman of ADI. World governments are woefully unprepared for the social and economic disruptions this disease will cause.

The Report reveals:

The worldwide costs of dementia will exceed 1% of global GDP in 2010, at US$604 billion.

- If dementia care were a country, it would be the world's 18th largest economy. If it were a company, it would be the world's largest by annual revenue exceeding Wal-Mart and Exxon Mobil. - The number of people with dementia will double by 2030; more than triple by 2050. - The costs of caring for people with dementia are likely to rise even faster than the prevalence - especially in the developing world, as more formal social care systems emerge, and rising incomes lead to higher opportunity costs. - Reports from individual countries such as the UK suggest that dementia is one of the costliest illnesses - and yet research and investment is at a far lower level than for other major illnesses.

The scale of this crisis cries out for global action, said Marc Wortmann, Executive director of ADI. History shows that major diseases can be made manageable - and even preventable - with sufficient global awareness and the political will to make substantial investments in research and care options. Governments must make dementia a health priority and develop national plans to deal with the disease.

This new Report gives us the clearest, most comprehensive picture yet of the global economic and social costs of dementia, said author Prof Anders Wimo.


- Louise Pratt, King's College London, +44-20-78485378, - Sarah Smith, ADI (London), +44-20-79810880, - Niles Frantz, Alzheimer's Association (US), +1-312-335-5777,

SOURCE: Alzheimer's Disease International

CONTACT: Louise Pratt, Kings College London, +44-20-78485378,, Sarah Smith, ADI (London), +44-20-79810880,, Niles Frantz, Alzheimers Association (US), +1312-335-5777,