In a recent article from The Lancet, it has been predicted that population ageing and population growth will drive enormous increases in the number of individuals affected by dementia both regionally and globally. In their study it was estimated that the number of people with dementia would increase from 57·4 million cases globally in 2019 to 152·8 million cases in 2050.
Growth in the number of individuals living with dementia underscores the need for public health planning efforts and policy to address the needs of this group. Research focused on the discovery of disease-modifying treatments, effective low-cost interventions, and novel modifiable risk factors for the prevention or delay of disease onset, is therefore critical.
Identifying cognitive impairment and suitable treatments is going to be increasingly important as the cases of dementia rise. Older adult neuropsychological assessment or screening for dementia will be a vital tool for psychologists. The new revised version of the Short Parallel Assessments of Neuropsychological Status – Extended (SPANS-X) has the potential utility with dementia assessment in older adults. SPANS-X has extended norms up to age 90 and an additional interpretive metric to account for natural and expected decline in cognitive performance with age. SPANS-X also includes a validated remote administration modality.
Lancet Public Health (6 January 2022) Estimation of the global prevalence of dementia in 2019 and forecasted prevalence in 2050: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. GBD 2019 Dementia Forecasting Collaborators.