Thursday, 11 Oct, 2007 Health & Fitness

One Million of 100-Year-Olds by 2050, Half of Them to Face Dementia


More and more people live to 100 and beyond in Britain, yet the fight against age-related diseases assumes the same importance as global warming and terrorism, according to a leading scientist.

Dr Guy Brown, a neuroscientist from the Cambridge University, is warning that gradual increase in lifespan implies that more and more elderly people have to spend the last decades of their life in the struggle against disability and dementia.

Babies born nowadays in the UK are expected to live to the age of 100, while it is predicted that the number of centenarians will increase from the present-day total of 10,000 to 1million by the year 2074. However, the increased lifespan is believed to be spoiled by deteriorating health - in future half of the 100-year-olds will be dying with dementia.

Dr Brown, an expert in the degenerative disease, insists that much more funds must be invested into the research of age-related diseases and the care of elderly people. He thinks the issue is a real nightmare that might soon become reality and it is difficult to imagine the psychological consequences of being in danger of developing dementia.

The scientist warns that in future the government will have to provide millions of demented or disabled elderly people with individual round-the-clock care for decades to come. Yet nothing is done at the moment to prevent the problem, and death, dying and dementia are not listed on the political agenda.

Dr Brown suggests the government and the scientific world should join efforts and attack ageing and the miseries of ageing. He thinks that the research funding should be redirected rather than just provided for death-preventing. Scientists have to come up with alternative ways to drug development for therapies that are not economically sensible for the pharmaceutical and bio-tech industries to follow. The researcher added that hospices should to be as well-funded as maternity hospitals.

As Dr Brown said, 'the future is not just old, it's extremely old'' and 'Death is not the enemy, it is an integral part of our life.'

Powered by

Add your comment:

antispam code