1023 GMT December 14, 2019
Nearly 44 million people are believed to be living with Alzheimer’s worldwide.
According to the 2015 report by the Alzheimer's Association, two-thirds of sufferers live in developing nations. The report also showed 7.7 million people develop the disease every year across the globe.
Iran's population is aging, just like many other nations. Declining population growth and low fertility rate are giving rise to Alzheimer's in the country.
Between 40,000-60,000 Iranians are estimated to suffer from Alzheimer's. The Health Ministry says one is diagnosed with the disease every seven minutes in Iran.
Alzheimer's is a disabling, progressive disease that afflicts both sufferers and their families.
Millions of the elderly who suffer from Alzheimer's and its consequences worldwide are hindered by poor health services.
The latest Global Burden of Disease Study found a 92-percent increase in dementia-related early death and years lived with disability between 1990 and 2013.
The secretary of Iran's National Council of Elderly Population said there are about six million people above 65 years in the country, noting that figure could increase to more than 25 million in the next 36 years.
Farid Barati said special workshops have been established by Iran's State Welfare Organization to help tackle the growing number of Alzheimer's patients.
"Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's is vital in controlling it and reducing the costs related to its treatment," he said.
The official added a screening project is underway in Tehran to collect detailed data on the number of people suffering from Alzheimer's.
"It is a pilot project and will be extended to other provinces in the near future", Barati said.
He noted that certain provinces, including Gilan and South Khorasan are at greater risks of Alzheimer's because of lower rate of fertility.
"The population of the elderly has exceeded 10 percent of the total population in Gilan and South Khorasan," Barati said.
Alzheimer's is ranked among the ten top non-communicable diseases, which impose heavy financial and emotional burdens on governments and families. The result of a global survey conducted in 2010 revealed that one percent of every nation's GDP is spent on treating the disease.