A look at the history, importance and prevalence of this disease in India


Alzheimer’s disease is a condition in which the brain begins to shrink and eventually brain cells begin to die. This leads to memory loss, cognitive decline, and loss of social skills. It is one of the most common causes of dementia and often affects the affected person’s ability to function. World Alzheimer’s Day is celebrated every year on 21 September.

This day is dedicated to raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and various forms of dementia. The main objective of this day is to eliminate the stigma associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease, a neurological disorder, occurs when an abnormal protein called beta-amyloid builds up in brain cells, causing them to shrink and eventually die.


People suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may have symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty thinking, problems reasoning, changes in behavior and depression.

The early symptoms of Alzheimer’s may not seem serious and are often ignored. That is why this disease is often diagnosed in its later stages. A significant contributor to dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It is a progressive brain disorder, meaning it gets worse over time. However, the rate of progression may vary from person to person.

World Alzheimer’s Day: History

World Alzheimer’s Day was established in Edinburgh on 21 September 1994 to mark the tenth anniversary of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI). ADI, formed in 1984, is an organization dedicated to providing support and guidance to individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.

Significance of World Alzheimer’s Day

World Alzheimer’s Day holds great significance as it aims to raise awareness about this neurological disorder and reduce the stigma surrounding it. It provides an opportunity to educate people about early signs, risk factors, and available treatments. By increasing our understanding of Alzheimer’s, we can ensure timely diagnosis and help individuals receive the care they need.

With over 50 million people worldwide suffering from dementia and many more being diagnosed each year, it is important to increase public knowledge and support those affected. A major goal of this day is to advocate for increased investment in research.

Despite its widespread impact, Alzheimer’s still lacks a cure. Thus, it is essential to fund research to better understand the disease and develop effective treatments. The day serves as a call to governments, research institutes and philanthropic organizations to prioritize Alzheimer’s research funding and improve the lives of people affected by the disease.

Theme of World Alzheimer’s Day 2023

In 2023, the theme of Alzheimer’s Day is ‘Never Too Early, Never Too Late’. This topic emphasizes the critical importance of identifying risk factors and taking proactive steps to reduce those risks.

Prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in India

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBDS), 2019, within the period 2019-2050, the number of cases of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, will increase by a significant 166 percent, affecting the lives of approximately 153 million people worldwide. According to India, this figure can reach more than 11 crores in India.

A study conducted by the CSIR-National Institute of Science Communication and Policy Research (CSIR-NISCPR) found that this is the only comprehensive description available to describe the potential prevalence and trend of various neurological disorders across the country. In the 3 decades between 1990 and 2019, the burden of non-communicable neurological disorders (including AD) has more than doubled in India. In 2019, there were estimated to be 37 lakh active cases of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in India. The prevalence rate of AD and other dementias was 4.3 percent.

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