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Alzheimer Europe today (18 February; European Parliament, Brussels) announced that despite a marked reduction in the prevalence of dementia across European countries, the number of people with dementia is set to double by 2050. The key findings are set out in Alzheimer Europe’s Dementia in Europe Yearbook 2019; Estimating the prevalence of dementia in Europe.

Henry Simmons, Chief Executive of Alzheimer Scotland, comments: “We welcome the report from Alzheimer Europe and the reduction it suggests in dementia prevalence over the past decade. This would appear to indicate the benefits of public health approach and the crucial role it has to play in delivering long term health benefits. The report highlights that if prevalence rates were to remain the same, the ageing population means that dementia could double over the next three decades. However, we believe that a targeted public health approach focusing on brain health, can continue to reduce the number of people who develop dementia.

“In recent years, strong evidence has emerged that some forms of dementia could be prevented and in moving forward we are looking ahead to launching Brain Health Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government to develop a comprehensive Brain Health and Dementia Prevention strategy for Scotland. This is an exciting chapter in Alzheimer Scotland’s 40 years by supporting the transformation of our whole approach to dementia prevention and early intervention right here in Scotland.

“Alzheimer Scotland’s immediate priority is to those individuals who are currently living with dementia and their families. Our 24-hour Dementia Helpline (0808 808 3000), local Dementia Advisors and Dementia Resource Centres across Scotland, are available to help support everyone living with dementia we would encourage people to get in touch.

“If you want to help move forward dementia research you can register at Join Dementia Research (JDR) and help Scotland build the largest cohort of willing research participants as possible to help us transform our understanding of the illness even further.”