Dementia is defined as a decline of intellectual functions which disturbs memory, thinking, logic, the ability to concentrate and learn, and even the personality. Nowadays, dementia is one of the most frequently arising fatal diseases, and everyone should be aware of its key factors. The given paper will consider such questions as the percentage of ill people in the world, the typical onset and the possibility of the disease occurrence in childhood, the participation of the USA in the fight against dementia, the stigmas attached to this disorder, the quality of ill person’s life and some interesting and unknown facts about dementia.
Patrick McNamara (2011, p. 2) in his book states that nearly 24, 3 million people on our planet suffer from this disease. Each year clinics register about 4,6 million of new cases and, according to McNamara’s forecasts, by 2020 nearly 43 million people will have this destroying sickness (2011, p. 2)., In his book, McNamara (2011, p. 2) also points out that most often dementia is typical of the older population and occurs at the age of 65+. Not less important is the fact that two out of three patients are women. As a rule, dementia progresses more quickly in the women who suffer from detectable disturbances in the memory and mental clarity in older age than in the men with the same disorders. Such inequality exists partly because women live longer than men and for decades researchers have vainly looked for other reasons (Gaugler, James, Johnson, Scholz, & Weuve, 2015, p. 17). People commonly believe that dementia occurs only among the elderly, but referring to the brochure of the University of Stirling (2011), it may, unfortunately, strike even a child. Dementia among children is represented as an amentia, the collapse of the already existing intelligence. It often strikes children older than two years of age. Before that age barrier, the child is growing and developing normally, on a par with his/her peers and then certain modifications in their behavior begin.
Each country tries to overcome the terrible dementia disease and allocates large sums of money for this cause. The US is one of the most prosperous countries in terms of the fight against this illness. Based on the forecasts of Gaugler et al. (2015, p. 56), the annual payments for the treatment and hospitalization of patients with dementia are expected to grow from 226 billion in 2015 to more than 1 trillion in 2050. Moreover, the USA is working hard on improving both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapy. In 2014, the FDA approved the sixth drug that combines the two existing ones to enhance the chances in the battle against this disease. Non-pharmacologic therapy is most frequently used for improving patients’ cognitive functions and requires further studies to boost its effectiveness (p. 12).
Of course, both in the USA and around the world there are many stereotypes about dementia. The misunderstanding of the disease leads to the occurrence of numberless stigmas, which prevent the ill person from leading their usual way of life and communicate with others, as people try to isolate them from the society. In their work, Batsch & Mittelman (2012, p. 7) claim that the humanity must deal with its lack of understanding and thus improve the lives of patients. Scientists say that in the future the society will neither isolate nor hospitalize people with dementia, but will help them to overcome the disease together. Of course, the life of the ill person will never be the same as before the illness, but the active management of the disorder, which includes the coordination of treatment, conditions, physicians, activities and support groups, can help the patient to live as full life as it is possible (Gaugler et al. 2015, p. 12).
Dementia disease largely remains unexplored and new facts constantly arise at every stage of its study. In her article, Godman (2013) says that the heart and brain are interconnected. Therefore, heart disease may well increase the risk of dementia disorders. The author also argues that the intense training and workout for the brain could notably reduce the risk of the illness. Besides, interesting is the fact that the loss of sense of smell could be an important signal of the impending sickness. Finally, the last and the most horrifying thing is that dementia is one of the main causes of death worldwide and it should definitely be properly and timely attended and treated.
Thus, in conclusion, reviewing the most important facts about dementia it can be seen that the percentage of patients with this disorder is continuously growing and the women are in a higher-risk group. Despite the myth that this disease affects only the elderly after 65, it can occur much earlier, even in childhood years. The United States continually allocates costs for hospitalization, remedy and new investigations. However, even the modern society is not able to challenge certain self-created stereotypes and such lack of understanding disturbs people with dementia instead of helping them to stand against the disease.