During Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Association is initiating conversation about the progressive disease impacting at least 44 million people worldwide. After conducting a 12-country survey it was found out that this disease is also widely misunderstood. The Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month International Survey was conducted in 12 countries, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Japan, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom, and surveyed 6,307 adults age 18+.
The overall results showed that 59 percent of people believe that Alzheimer’s disease is a typical part of aging and 40 percent of people believe that Alzheimer’s is not fatal. In addition, 37 percent of people believe that you have to have a family history to be at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, and while the United States was not part of this survey, the 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures found that 24 percent of American’s hold the same belief.
Based on results, the survey found that India (84%), Saudi Arabia (81%) and China (80%) held the largest beliefs that Alzheimer’s is a typical part of aging. The UK and Mexico “had the highest recognition that Alzheimer’s is not a typical part of aging (62%), but 37 percent and 38 percent, respectively, were still misinformed.” More than half the people surveyed in Germany (56%), Mexico (55%), and Brazil (53%) did not realize that Alzheimer’s is fatal.
Researchers have predicted that by 2030, numbers of people with Alzheimer’s disease will skyrocket to 76 million worldwide. Nearly 70 percent of people hold the government responsible for finding a cure or a way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. “Despite an obvious and large knowledge gap, people around the world still recognize the threat the Alzheimer’s crisis presents and hold their government accountable for finding a cure and prevention,” said Johns. “In the U.S. and among the G7, federal governments have committed to preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. We must hold our leaders responsible for investing in the research needed to realize that goal.”