Prevalence Rates of Dementia in Peru and Argentina
This project is being carried out under the auspices of the 10/66 Dementia Research Group, a network of more than 100 scientists from across the world who work together to discover the prevalence and causes of dementia in different countries, and find evidence-based solutions. The 10/66 Group is affiliated to Alzheimer’s Disease International and is co-ordinated by Professor Martin Prince who is the Principal Investigator.
This is one of a number of projects based on 10/66 population based surveys of people aged over 65: these surveys have been carried out in Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, China and India.
This project aims to make estimates of the prevalence rates of dementia in Mexico, Peru and Argentina and find out what sort of care people with dementia receive. It will also evaluate the success of an intervention developed by the 10/66 Group to support caregivers of people with dementia in these countries.
Dementia is a significant and rapidly growing problem in developing countries but few families seek medical help and heath services are not geared towards meeting the needs of people with dementia and their carers.
Health care workers who visit homes and focus predominantly on children’s health will be trained to identify individuals who have dementia and then work with the main caregiver and members of the immediate and extended family, giving advice about how to manage problem behaviours and information about dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
If successful, the intervention could enhance public services for dementia treatment and care in developing nations, particularly in Latin American countries.
The data collected about the prevalence of dementia will help inform policy and service development.
1,000 people aged over 65 living in rural areas, and 1,000 people aged over 65 living in urban areas in each of the three countries are participating in the research. They have been assessed for memory and thinking skills and researchers are finding about the care they receive, both from families and social networks and from health services.
Those people who are given a diagnosis of dementia have then been given the education and training intervention for their family immediately, or after six months. This allows the research team to compare the experiences of a group of caregivers and people with dementia who received the intervention with a group who did not and therefore gauge its success.
Collaborators include Dr Cleusa Ferri, Dr Raul Arizaga from the Neuraxis Institute Neurological Foundation in Beunos Aires, Argentina, Dr Ana Luisa Sosa from the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of Mexico and Dr Mariella Guerra from the National Institute of Mental Health in Lima, Peru.
The research is funded by the US Alzheimer’s Association www.alz.org.