Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

How Knowledgeable Are Young Adults about Alzheimer's Disease?

Academic journal article International Journal of Child Health and Human Development

How Knowledgeable Are Young Adults about Alzheimer's Disease?

Article excerpt

Introduction

Dementia is a broad term that includes a variety of disease subtypes, and is very common among those over the age of 65 years old. It can significantly alter the quality of life of affected patients, and when coupled with other medical conditions, can lead to suboptimal patient care as well (1, 2). This under-management could snowball into a public health disaster with over 560,000 Canadians suffering from dementia, which accounts for $10.4 billion in annual expenditure, and this statistic is expected to quadruple within the next 50 years (3, 4). Tools have been developed by healthcare professionals to help improve the quality of care for these patients (5), but it is still far from a perfect solution.

Alzheimer's is the most common subtype of dementia, with studies reporting that it makes up somewhere between 50% to 72% of dementia cases (2, 6, 7). Symptoms of Alzheimer's include significant episodic memory impairment, behavioural disturbances, and psychopathological disturbances (6, 8). With no cure to Alzheimer's on the horizon, increased awareness by family members could result in more conscientious caregivers and better quality of life.

With the frequency of dementia and its subtypes expected to increase in the future, coupled with the fact that there exists an aging population, it is important that young adults are aware of the disease as they will be responsible to care for the elderly population in the future. …

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