Alzheimer’s disease frequency is rising in Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), countries that are experiencing a demographic transition due to an aging population.
However, the Kingdom’s first Global Healthspan Summit heard on Thursday that there is a lack of funding, drug research, and systems to deal with debilitating brain disorders in the region and globally, and that more work needs to be done to get Saudi Arabia involved in clinical trials that are addressing the disease.
Memory loss, cognitive decline, and behavioral abnormalities are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease, a neurological illness that progresses over time. It is among the most prevalent degenerative illnesses affecting the elderly.
Symptoms of Alzheimer’s can occur in varied combinations and at different times; however, the incidence is directly proportional to age. This means the older the individual, the higher the chance of developing Alzheimer’s.
Around five percent of people above 65, 13 percent above 75, and 33 percent over 85 have the disease.
With aging populations across the GCC, the demographic transition presents unique challenges in healthcare in the region.