Every 1 September marks the start of World Alzheimer’s Month. World Alzheimer’s Month is an international campaign from Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), an international federation comprising Alzheimer’s and dementia associations from around the world.
The goal is to challenge the stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, as well as to provide education and awareness on the condition. According to ADI, the number of people living with dementia is set to nearly triple by 2050.
However, there are a number of ways to delay or prevent these numbers from rising, which ADI advocates for.
An important part of Alzheimer’s and dementia care is education and knowing about the risk factors so patients can be proactive. ADI highlights this with its campaign ‘Never too early, never too late’, which centres on these risk and reduction factors.
Some modifiable risk factors highlighted by ADI include physical inactivity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, infrequent social interaction, and a lack of education. Understanding these risk factors and how to maintain brain health can prevent or delay up to 40% of dementia cases.
Another key factor in Alzheimer’s and dementia treatment is early diagnosis, which is something that the South Korean company Lotte Healthcare is trying to make accessible. Lotte has partnered with iMediSync to develop an AI-based healthcare service that focuses on wellness and care for the elderly.
iMediSync specialises in AI-based electroencephalogram screening for diagnosing neuropsychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Lotte meanwhile, operates a mobile health app called Cazzle, which offers personalised health recommendations using AI.
The two companies plan to work together to create mobile health diagnostic tools leveraging AI technology with a focus on care for older patients.
Having a platform to help diagnose Alzheimer’s and dementia could be a big help for both patients and healthcare professionals. It could make getting a diagnosis more accessible to patients while also relieving some of the workload from healthcare professionals.
Receiving an early diagnosis and understanding the risk factors are both crucial to dementia treatment. An AI-based app or platform could make a big difference in Alzheimer’s and dementia care.