World Alzheimer’s Day is annually observed across the globe on 21 September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that persists around Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common type of dementia and other forms of dementia.
- The day also aims to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, and the importance of timely diagnosis and treatments.
- World Alzheimer’s Day is observed during the World Alzheimer’s Month.
World Alzheimer’s Month:
i.The month of September is annually observed across the world as World Alzheimer’s Month (a month-long campaign). It is the international campaign from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI).
- According to ADI, the theme for World Alzheimer’s Month campaign 2023 is “Never too early, never too late”.
The 2023 campaign focused on raising awareness about dementia and emphasises the importance of identifying risk factors. It highlights that taking proactive steps to reduce risk factors can help delay or prevent dementia.
i.World Alzheimer’s Day was launched during the opening of ADI’s annual conference in Edinburgh, Scotland on 21 September 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ADI.
ii.In 2010, ADI launched the first awareness campaign, “World Alzheimer’s Month”, as a pilot campaign in 12 countries.
- Since 2012, World Alzheimer’s Month is annually observed during the month of September.
About Alzheimer’s & Dementia and its types:
i.Dementia is an umbrella term for a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain and impact memory, thinking, behaviour, and emotion.
ii.The most common is Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 50-60% of people with dementia.
iii.Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to shrink and is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills and, eventually, the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
- The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German pathologist who first discovered an ‘unusual disease of the cerebral cortex’ and noticed the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness in 1906.
Types: Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, and frontotemporal dementia.
World Alzheimer Report 2023:
On the occassion of World Alzheimer’s Day 2023, the ADI launched the World Alzheimer Report 2023 with focus on reducing the risk of dementia. The 2023 report is written in journalistic style and featuring key case studies.
- The report examines the drivers behind risk reduction and the role of government in providing population-based systemic changes to promote risk reduction and the importance of dementia research.
The World Alzheimer Reports are a comprehensive source of global socioeconomic information on dementia published annually by ADI on the occasion of World Alzheimer’s Day.
- Each World Alzheimer Report is on a different topic.
- ADI launched the first World Alzheimer Report in 2009.
Key facts about Alzheimer’s disease:
i.According to ADI, globally, the number of people living with dementia will almost triple by 2050.
ii.According to the WHO:
- Currently, more than 55 million people have dementia worldwide, over 60% of whom live in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Every year, there are nearly 10 million new cases.
- Dementia results from a variety of diseases and injuries that affect the brain. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases.
- Women are disproportionately affected by dementia, both directly and indirectly.
- Women experience higher disability-adjusted life years and mortality due to dementia, but also provide 70% of care hours for people living with dementia.
About Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI):
Chief Executive Officer– Paola Barbarino
Headquarters– London, UK
Founded in– 1984