Worldwide dementia cases will treble by 2050, according to analysts.
Figures released by Alzheimer's Disease International ahead of next week's G8 on dementia summit in London state that 44 million people currently live with the condition across the planet.
But this number is set to reach 135 million in the next 37 years unless a significant breakthrough in research is made.
The amount of funding allocated to dementia in the UK is one eighth of that given towards cancer treatments and campaigners wish to see this increase.
Alzheimer's Disease International said rising life expectancies will bring a rise in dementia cases, particularly in poor and middle income nations.
At present, 38 per cent of dementia cases are in first world countries, but by 2050 is predicted that poorer and developing nations will account for 71 per cent of the total.
Mark Wortmann, executive director of Alzheimer Disease International, said countries are currently unprepared for an epidemic of dementia.
"It is only getting worse - if we look into the future the numbers of elderly people will rise dramatically," he stated.
Jeremy Hughes, from the UK charity Alzheimer's Society, added that dementia could soon become the biggest health "challenger of this generation".
He feels the G8 summit is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the nations to investigate ways in which they can work together to improve diagnosis, research and treatment.
Last week, the government released its 'State of the Nation' report on dementia, which revealed huge differences in diagnosis rates across England and Wales.
The best rates were found in Corby, Northamptonshire at 75 per cent, followed by South Tyneside at 71 per cent.
In contrast, the worst rates could be found in north-west London, Hertfordshire and Harrow with 33 per cent each.
Across the whole of the UK, it is estimated that 820,000 people are currently living with some form of the condition.
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