Alzheimer fact sheet released

Dementia is a syndrome consisting of a number of symptoms that include loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, and changes in mood, behaviour and communication abilities. Alzheimer Disease, the most common form of dementia, accounts for 64 per cent of all dementias in Canada.

  • Alzheimer Disease is a degenerative brain disorder that destroys vital brain cells. It is not a normal part of aging.
  • The symptoms of Alzheimer Disease include a gradual onset and continuing decline of memory, changes in judgment or reasoning, and an inability to perform familiar tasks.
  • There is no known cause or cure for Alzheimer Disease. However, there is medication to treat some of the symptoms.
  • Alzheimer Disease can strike adults at any age, but occurs most commonly in people over 65.
  • There are two forms of Alzheimer Disease: Familial Autosomal Dominant (FAD), a rare form of the disease, and the more common Sporadic.
  • An estimated 364,000 Canadians or 1 in 13 over the age of 65 currently have Alzheimer Disease or a related dementia.1
  • By the year 2031, it is estimated that over 3/4 million Canadians will have Alzheimer Disease or a related dementia.1 This figure does not include the countless family members who must cope with the effects of the disease.

Number of Canadians affected with
Alzheimer Disease and related dementias

850,000
 
750,000
 

778,000

2031

 
650,000
   
550,000
   
450,000
   
350,000
 

364,000

2001

   
250,000
     
150,000
     

0

     
  • Early in this century, baby boomers will move into the age of highest risk for Alzheimer Disease.
  • Women are more affected by the disease than men: women account for over 2/3 of all those over 65 with the disease.1 Most caregivers are women.
  • Canadians spend an estimated $5.5 billion a year on persons with Alzheimer Disease and related dementias.2
  • Over 52 per cent of Canadians know someone with Alzheimer Disease and almost 25 per cent have someone affected in their family.3
  • Currently, there are 18 million people in the world with dementia -- this is estimated to rise to 34 million by the year 2025.4
  • Currently, 66 per cent of the total number of people with dementia live in developing countries. This is expected to rise to 75 per cent by 2025.4

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