Why Choose Neurodegenerative Diseases?
Europe has a rapidly ageing population. Currently, 16% of the European population is over 65, and this figure is expected to reach 25% by 2030.
Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are debilitating and largely untreatable conditions that are strongly linked with age.
- Amongst these disorders, the dementias are responsible for the greatest burden of disease, with Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders affecting over 7 million people in Europe, and this figure is expected to double every 20 years as the population ages.
It currently costs approximately €130 billion per annum to care for people with dementia across Europe, highlighting age-related neurodegenerative disease as one of the leading medical and societal challenges faced by EU society.
- Alzheimer’s disease is particularly expensive to manage due to its insidious onset, its ever-increasing levels of disability and the length of time over which the condition extends itself. The average duration of this disease is between 2 and 10 years, during which patients will require special care that is a significant burden for both caregivers and for society as a whole.
While large investments have been made in other diseases such as cancer and cardio vascular disease (and we have consequently seen major improvements in treatment and patient outcomes), to date neurodegenerative diseases have not received the same level of funding, despite having a large negative impact on healthy life years.
- Existing treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are very limited, and only treat the symptoms, rather than addressing the cause. In addition, no new drug treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease has been approved in the past five years.