Anna Gorman from Kaiser Health News discusses the development of the Global Brain Health Institute, which will work to aid third-world nations in learning about dementia as well as to how best deal with the strain it causes for patients and their family members.
As a joint effort from the University of California San Francisco and the University of Dublin, the institute will be stationed in both California and Ireland. Once fully established, the Global Brain Institute will work to train more that 500 economists, neuroscientists, policymakers, and others over more than a decade. Initially, the institute will focus heavily on training members from the Souther Mediterranean region and Latin America. Training, according to Gorman, is slated to commence in the fall of 2016.
Kristin Yaffe, who serves as a professor of psychiatry and neurology at UCSF, notes that many less developed nations will see a gradual shift in the demographics of their population with millions of citizens entering old-age. These nations, with little no dementia experts, are quite ill-equipped to deal with this population.
Experts believe that dementia affects nearly fifty million men and women across the globe. However, researchers from Alzheimer’s Disease International predict this number to increase threefold in just thirty-five years. The financial burden of the disease will grow alongside this number. In 2016, the projected cost of dementia on both governments and communities will surpass $800 billion.
The Chuck Feeney-created Atlantic Philanthropies has committed more than $150 million to this institute. Feeney is hopeful that the institute will help make life easier for those living with disease as well as their loved ones.
Others organizations including the Alzheimer’s Association will also be be involved the project. The hope is that with the help of these existing organizations, the institute will help raise awareness on a local level all across the world.
Dementia is a term covering several types of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s. As of today, no cures have been discovered for these diseases.