Dementia: The Memory Thief

The dementia epidemic is looming. With no cure or effective treatment method on the horizon, researchers are looking back at what we have learned over the last 100 years since the first disease diagnosis, and looking ahead into preventing dementia — the memory thief — for future generations.Dementia: The Memory Thief. Professor Michel Geordert from the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, admits that there is a gap between what we understand of dementia and our ability to effectively treat or cure the disease. Professor Carol Brayne from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, speaks of the complexities of the disease, saying, “Dementia isn’t one disease: it’s a constellation of changes in an individual’s brain, with many underlying causes. Most people, by the time they’re in their eighties or nineties, have some of these changes in their brains, regardless of whether or not they ever develop dementia.”

Key Points:

  • 1With no cure or effective treatment method on the horizon, the dementia epidemic is looming.
  • 2Many researchers agree that because efforts for a cure have fallen short, there should be a focus on preventing the disease instead.
  • 3Read on to learn more about what we know about dementia, why that knowledge has not lead to a cure, and why researchers are choosing to focus on prevention.

Despite all of our advances, the dementia epidemic is still coming. We still do not have a cure, and as the senior population increases, dementia threatens to overwhelm health services and place a unbearable burden on society.

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