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S. Korea's health ministry announces future plans to tackle dementia on World Alzheimer's Day Updated: 2020-09-21 17:13:31 KST

Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, a broad category of brain diseases that result in a long-term and often gradual deterioration in the ability to think and remember.
According to South Korea's Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service, last year the number of dementia patients had risen to nearly 800-thousand, four times the number a decade earlier.

To raise awareness of the severity of the situation, South Korea's Ministry of Health and Welfare held its own Alzheimer's Day event on Monday in Seoul at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry
where it unveilled a nine-year, 172-million U.S. dollar research investment plan.
First Lady Kim Jung-sook gave a speech by video, in which she stressed the need for a more "dementia-friendly" society.
The government has so far set up almost 260 dementia consultation and screening centers across the country.
Their services have been used by more than 3.7 million senior citizens, including half a million dementia patients.
The health ministry also noted that it's established dementia clinics at 49 public nursing homes nationwide and has amended the state health insurance system to cut treatment costs.

Roughly one in 10 South Koreans over the age of 65 now suffers from dementia.
There's also a growing number of seniors with mild cognitive impairments, which often precede Alzheimer's disease.
Experts say, however, that the disorder's onset can be prevented through a healthy, active lifestyle.

"Most important is exercise. Good exercise beats any pill out there. Healthy eating and sleeping well is also recommended. Not to mention, no drinking and smoking"

Dementia is currently classified by the medical community as "incurable" and it has no definitive cause.
But this could change as international campaigns raise awareness of prevention measures and governments around the world invest more and more into research.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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