Dementia has become a growing problem that's only getting worse.
New statistics released by the World Health Organization show that the number of people suffering from the disease will reach two billion by the year 2050. Rates of those with dementia have increased as the baby boomer generation begins to retire, and it's expected to increase even more with the next generation.
The disease currently affects 36 million people, but the World Health Organization said that number is going to start increasing drastically.
Alternet reported that the new figure by WHO means that dementia will cost over $1 trillion in medical care in the United States. Some experts are saying that this will lead to one of the worst medical disasters in human history. MIT's Technology Review interviewed Dr. Barry Greenberg, director of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance, who said, "The scope of the looming medical care disaster is beyond comparison with anything that has been faced during the entire history of humanity."
Dementia is a syndrome that many people deal with on a daily basis. It's also linked to other types of mental disorders, with the most common one being Alzheimer's disease.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only disease in the top 10 that "cannot be cured, prevented, or even slowed." Death rates for other major diseases, such as heart disease and breast cancer, have been on the decline from 2000-2008 but deaths caused by Alzheimer's have risen 66 percent in the same time period.
The WHO report was designed to help spread awareness for the disease and for how serious a problem it is to the world. While funding and research continues to try and find a cure, reports linking Alzheimer's and diabetes may suggest that the mental disease can be controlled using diet.