Dementia will cost the UK economy £50 billion per year within the next 30 years, according to a new report.
The 'Developing our brains from cradle to grave' report, which was commissioned by government think tank Foresight, predicts that by 2071 there could be 9.5 million people in the UK aged over 80.
Authors of the report suggest that action is needed now in terms of people adapting to protective lifestyles, given that new treatments could take years to become available.
Welcoming the report, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust Rebecca Wood said: "If we do not vastly increase dementia research funding now, the human and economic costs will be catastrophic."
"Increasing investment in dementia research now would be highly prudent in the long run," she added.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has suggested that regular exercise might reverse the brain declines associated with older age or Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers found that aerobic exercise may actually increase the size of brain tissue - with speed and sharpness of thought potentially improved as a result.
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