What is dementia?

Dementia is a significant decrease in cognitive ability, caused by a range of neurological conditions


Healthy brain aging is not experienced by everyone. As our population ages, the number of people affected by dementia is increasing dramatically. In Switzerland, more than 20% of people over the age of 85 suffer from dementia. With an ever-aging population, the number of people with dementia in Switzerland is expected to almost double over the next 25 years.

Different forms of dementia

The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for up to 70 % of dementia cases, primarily in the aging population. Alzheimer’s disease results from the progressive loss of neurons in the brain, leading to loss of memory, concentration deficit and reasoning disabilities.

Twice as many women as men suffer from dementia and continue to represent the majority (71%) of the caregivers for those patients affected by dementia.

In Switzerland

every 18 minutes one person develops dementia

Despite this…

50% of dementia cases are undiagnozed due to:




Can dementia be prevented?

Therapeutic options are limited and mainly palliative. Continued research is essential in ensuring that successful treatments can be found!

Alzheimer’s associations and the WHO set dementia prevention as a priority. There is growing evidence that life style modifications can slow down disease progression or prevent development of dementia. Potentially modifiable risk factors include smoking, depression, high blood pressure and a lack of social contact.

Risk factors that can potentially be modified, from left to right: high blood pressure, obesity, hearing loss, smoking, depression, non-active life-style, lack of social contact, diabetes (data taken from Lancet (2017), vol. 390: 2673-734)

Abnormal brain aging is costly

The emotional costs of dementia are immeasurable, both for those with the condition and for their loved ones.

The financial costs are dramatically high for patients, those they depend on and for the nation as a whole.