Dementia: a challenge

At present, nearly 148,000 persons in Switzerland suffer from dementia.
Most of them are afflicted by Alzheimer’s disease.

The disease is named after Alois Alzheimer who first detected and described it in 1906. Alzheimer's disease is triggered by a progressive loss of nerve cells and nerve contacts in the brain, the cause of which is still unknown. People who have Alzheimer’s experience a gradual deterioration of important mental functions, such as memory, language, planning, action and spatial orientation. The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increases with age. It is estimated that 20-25% of persons over 85 years of age are affected.

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by a progressive loss of neurons in the brain. This can lead to a reduction in intellectual performance or motor disorders. The most common neurodegenerative diseases are Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. There are also less-common diseases, such as Huntington's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is one of the so-called prion diseases.

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