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Dementia in developing countries: why is it important?

Alzheimer’s disease is the commonest cause of dementia. It is a label that is well recognised in the developed countries of Europe, North America and in Japan. Why? Because these nations have a
significant proportion of older people. Developing countries, on the other hand, have had a relatively small proportion of older people and a much higher proportion of children. This balance is changing as
birth rates fall and the life span a person can expect increases. This means that dementia will become more common in the future as more and more people live to older age. Most developed countries have well-organised health and social care systems to support elderly people and their families through the long and difficult course of dementia. This is not the case in most developing countries. Thus, societies will face growing numbers of people with dementia but without much awareness or services for them.
This is why dementia is an important problem for health workers in developing countries.

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