One in nine people over the age of 65 are affected by Alzheimer's, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela said on Monday.
He was addressing a press conference to mark World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21st.
Hadjipantela mentioned that “the number of people with dementia is expected to triple until 2050, from 50 to 152 million,” and stressed that, as the world’s population is aging the need for people who are or will be affected by the disease to be cared for becomes imperative.
He added that a National Action Plan for handling issues associated with dementia is underway, while Phase B of the construction of the new Athalassa Hospital provides for a Psycho-geriatric Clinic, that will care specifically for elders.
President of Cyprus Neurological Society, Dr. Michalis Protopapas, explained that Alzheimer’s mainly affects societies with a longer life expectancy and added that the youngest patient he has treated is 42 years old and the youngest patient with Alzheimer’s in Cyprus is 37. Dr. Protopapas said that treatment, especially when applied as soon as possible, will delay the progress of the disease, but the delay is not enough.
On behalf of the Cyprus Alzheimer’s Association, Costas Kapitanis, talked about the case of a 37-year-old patient, who has found strength and courage, both for himself and his wife, as well as for their underage children, through the support of the Association. He stressed that both society and state have a responsibility to support the Association’s work and efforts.