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Global plan for dementia should be agreed at G8 say charities

Global plan for dementia should be agreed at G8 say charities
2nd December 2013

Global leaders should look to draw up a share plan for tackling dementia around the world, a number of charities have stated.

Health and science ministers from the world's biggest nations are to meet in London next week for the first ever G8 summit on dementia and prime minister David Cameron has promised to press the need for action.

Three charities (the Alzheimer's Society, Alzheimer's Research UK and Alzheimer's Disease International) have all said that collective work needs to be carried out the nations, with substantial investment being made into research.

"Dementia currently costs the world $604 billion ($368 billion). If dementia were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy globally," the group said in a joint letter published by the Daily Telegraph.

"As we all live longer, dementia is spiralling out of control, holding healthcare systems to ransom."

They feel that the summit has to be used as a way of pressing home the seriousness of the condition and the rate this it is growing in almost all nations around the globe.

Their comments come less than a week after the publication of the Department of Health's 'State of the Nation' report on dementia.

The report showed that dementia diagnosis is still something of a postcode lottery, with an estimated 416,000 (52 per cent) of people living with the condition without being diagnosed.

Corby in Northamptonshire was found to be the town with the highest diagnosis rate at 75 per cent, followed by South Tyneside at 71 per cent.

In contrast, the worst rate can be found in north-west London and Hertfordshire and Harrow at 33 per cent each.

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt said part of the problem comes from sufferers feeling there is no point seeking a diagnosis as they would not receive the help and support they need anyway.

"There is a demographic time bomb but we are not giving people the care we should be giving them," he added.