Dementie: groeiende ramp of afnemende epidemie?

Stand van zaken
Miriam L. Haaksma, Jurgen A.H.R. Claassen, Marcel G.M. Olde Rikkert en René J.F. Melis

Dementia: growing disaster or declining epidemic?

  • There is currently a lot of uncertainty about the future prevalence of dementia. Not only increasing age, but also educational level and lifestyle of the population appear to play a role.
  • There is little scientific and societal attention for the great uncertainty around average incidence and prevalence estimates for dementia.
  • When estimating the prognosis of people with dementia, the average disease course is often used as a basis, while this is not at all representative of the individual course of most patients.
  • The beneficial findings of recent lifestyle intervention studies ask for more targeted prevention strategies for risk groups. There is no standard preventative strategy which works equally well for everyone.
  • Given the large influence of dementia-related publications on the expectations of people regarding their ageing, it is important to present measures of dispersion alongside all study results.

Conflict of interest and financial support: none declared.