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World Alzheimer Report 2016

Today, 47 million people live with dementia worldwide, more than the population of Spain. This number is projected to increase to more than 131 million by 2050, as populations age. Dementia also has a huge economic impact. The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US$818 billion, and it will become a trillion dollar disease by 2018.

The huge majority of people with dementia have not received a diagnosis, and so are unable to access care and treatment. Even when dementia is diagnosed, the care provided is too often fragmented, uncoordinated, and unresponsive to the needs of people living with dementia, their carers and families. This is unacceptable.

This World Alzheimer Report 2016 reviews the state of healthcare for dementia around the world, and recommends ways that it can be improved. There is a clear and urgent need to improve the coverage of healthcare around the world, for people living with dementia now and those who will be in the future. Through cost modelling, the report shows that these improvements are affordable and achievable, but governments and societies need to effect transformative change to deliver them. It is essential that this happens.

We are grateful to the authors from The Global Observatory for Ageing and Dementia Care at King’s College London and the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the London School of Economics and Political Science for producing this report. We appreciate the support of our sponsors – GE Healthcare, Roche, Janssen, Lundbeck, Lilly and Biogen – which made the report possible.

ADI, the global federation of 85 Alzheimer associations, is committed to ensuring that dementia becomes an international health priority. We believe national dementia plans are the first step towards ensuring all countries are equipped to enable people to live well with dementia, and help to reduce the risk of dementia for future generations. There is now a growing list of countries which have such provision in place or are developing national dementia plans, but it is not enough. We hope that the adoption of a Global Plan on Dementia by the World Health Organization in 2017 will commit member states to act on many of the recommendations contained in this report.

Around the world, we need to drive forward improvements in healthcare and social care, as well as eliminating the stigma around dementia and ensuring that people living with dementia are included in society and that their human rights are recognised everywhere. We are committed to ensuring prevention, care and inclusion happen today, and a cure tomorrow.