Each year there are about 10 million new cases of Alzheimer’s worldwide, which translates into a new diagnosis every three seconds, said Dr. Ana Luisa Sosa Ortiz, a researcher at the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery (INNN). Mexico.
The main risk factor for contracting the disease is age, said the doctor, who referred to data from the World Health Organization (WHO) at a press conference to mark World Alzheimer’s Day, to be held tomorrow.
This is worrying because “in Mexico, aging has accelerated due to low birth rates, and it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 14.6 million people over 60 years of age,” said the Head of the Cognition Unit. Conduct of the INNN.
In Mexico there are more than one million older adults, 60 or older, with dementia, and Alzheimer’s is the most common type, according to 2017 estimates made by the National Institute of Statistics, Geography and Information Technology (Inegi).
However, the specialist added that there are other causes that increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s as “sedentary life, diabetes, smoking and social isolation.”
He explained that although family history does influence, only 5% of Alzheimer’s patients have a family member for each generation with the disease.
For her part, Rosa María Farrés, president of the Mexican Alzheimer Federation, said that those suffering from this condition gradually lose the cognitive skills that allow them to socialize and make them dependent.
“The patient loses his functionality and the family plays a fundamental role because the patient is a dependent subject.The alterations for both the patient and the family are usually physical, psychological and emotional, especially when the family is not integrated,” he said. Farrés.
He added that we must raise awareness about the importance of offering a dignified old age and a family that is present and ready to face the disease.
Despite the research that has been done, there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s.
However, WHO gives five recommendations to reduce risk: physical activity, maintain a healthy heart, have a balanced diet, challenge the brain daily and be socially active.