Most forms of dementia are neurodegenerative disorders. Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent form of dementia.
This Pearl is mainly concerned with the early stages of dementia, in particular Alzheimer’s disease and its precursor: mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Dementia presents chiefly in the elderly. Of those above 80 years of age approximately 30% suffer from dementia. Old age forms the greatest risk factor for this disease. With the increasing aging population dementia will become a great problem in the near future: 200.000 patients in 2005 to more than 430.000 in 2050. Furthermore dementia can also occur at a younger age (<65 years of age). Others than by dementia in older patients the distribution and manifestation of dementia at a younger age is characterised by relatively more specific disorders such as corticobasal degeneration and rare familial disorders.