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Treating dementia costs more than one percent of global economic output

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: dementia, costs, health news

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(NaturalNews) The costs associated with treating dementia represent more than one percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP), says the 2010 World Alzheimer Report. In other words, if dementia was its own country, it would be the world's 18th largest economy -- and costs are only expected to continue rising.

According to the report, the world will spend roughly $604 billion in 2010 to treat dementia. And in developed places like North America and Western Europe, the bulk of these costs goes towards expensive medications, hospital treatments and residential and nursing home care.

In poorer, developing nations, however, the cost is usually represented in lost wages by family members who stay home to take care of their loved ones with dementia. Though such wages may be lower than those in developed countries are, they are significant within their own economies. And as these developing nations become more wealthy, these costs are sure to rise.

According to the report, the average total cost of treating a person with dementia in developed countries is nearly $33,000. In poorer nations, the cost is roughly $900. But the report indicates that nearly two-thirds of people who suffer from dementia live in low and middle income nations. So as these nations build economic momentum, the already sky-high costs of treating dementia worldwide could become even more out of control.

The best approach to dealing with dementia is to take preventive action against it before it develops. Turmeric (curcumin), cinnamon and apples, for instance, have all been shown in studies to prevent and treat the degenerative effects of dementia. Dietary and lifestyle changes are the least expensive and most effective ways to prevent the onset of dementia.

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