G8 ministers meet on dementia time-bomb

LONDON, December 11, 2013 (AFP) – Health ministers from the G8 nations were meeting in London on Wednesday to tackle what experts warn is a dementia time-bomb, with cases set to soar as the world’s population ages. Ministers from the Group of Eight wealthy nations’ were gathered with health experts and charities for the first ever conference on the incurable condition, which afflicts some 44 million people worldwide — most of them elderly.

Sufferers of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form, often end up needing full-time care as it attacks their memory, reasoning and other brain functions.

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) warned in a report last week that the number of sufferers is set to surge, trebling to 135 million by 2050, as life expectancy rises around the globe.

Dealing with dementia cost the world an estimated $604 billion (440 million euros) in 2010, according to the World Health Organization.

Ahead of the conference British Prime Minister David Cameron called for a worldwide boost in investment in dementia research, with Britain set to double its funding to £122 million ($200 million, 146 million euros) by 2022.

The British premier is seeking sim