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AAN 2023 | Understanding the global burden of dementia: challenges and opportunities

Monica Diaz, MD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, explores the relationship between aging and dementia. Dementia is not a normal part of aging but a pathological process caused by the accumulation of abnormal proteins in the brain. With the global population aging rapidly, there is a need to address dementia as a medical condition rather than a natural consequence of aging. However, limited resources and a focus on treating more acute diseases pose challenges in prioritizing dementia care. The 2020 Lancet Commission report identified 12 modifiable risk factors for dementia, many of which are prevalent in low to middle-income countries. By intervening early and addressing these risk factors, the risk of dementia can be significantly reduced. Access to treatments in middle-income countries remains a challenge, and the inclusion of novel agents in the World Health Organization’s essential medications list may take time. This interview took place at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting 2023 in Boston, MA.

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