The current relative prosperity in health care and the high achievements of humanity in the treatment of many ailments create a dangerous veil of self-confidence. The world of the near future is the world of the elderly, who are threatened by a whole range of age-related neurological diseases. Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's and dementia will become commonplace, which in a matter of years will take the form of a pandemic. And society is unlikely to cope with the multiply increased burden of serving the elderly.
Patrick Brundin, editor-in-chief of the Journal of Parkinsons Disease, predicts that Parkinson's disease will double in the next decade and triple by 2040. People as a whole will begin to live - and therefore suffer from the disease - much longer. The average “survival” after the diagnosis is today 7-14 years, annually 200, 000 people die only from complications at the stage of treatment, and the number of patients in the world has gone to the millions. And the saddest thing is that scientists are discovering all the new factors that provoke neurological diseases.
Sometimes such factors are paradoxical - for example, the inverse dependence of the likelihood of Parkinson's disease on tobacco addiction, revealed half a century ago. In short, whoever smokes and is no longer young should not quit, the risk of the disease will increase dramatically. And how do you balance this with the multiple health risks of nicotine use? No one has a clear answer.
The only, but global advantage of this news, Brundin calls adherence to the principle "He who is forewarned is armed." In the last century, mankind made colossal efforts and, despite many problems, managed to defeat polio, measles, sepsis. The fight against cancer and AIDS is going much better than previously predicted. We need to move forward, honestly voice threats, look for solutions to problems. Old age is inevitable, this is a fact, but the pandemic of senile diseases is quite preventable.