Dementia in an Aging Society

The aim of this research focus is to correlate the findings of basic and clinical research on neurodegenerative diseases with social sciences and humanities studies focused on an increasingly ageing society.

The increased life expectancy of people in industrialised nations is linked to a rise in age-related illnesses, most notably neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases as well as Frontotemporal Dementia and Prion diseases. This has both economic and social consequences for society and represents a heavy burden on public healthcare systems. Altogether, there are over 24 million individuals suffering from dementia worldwide, of which 1.2 million live in Germany. The demographic evolution in the ageing industrial nations, but also – most pointedly – the increasing life expectancy in developing and emerging economies mean that the number of cases will double every 20 years. Thus 80 million people are expected to be affected in 2040, of which approximately 2 million in Germany.

The aim of the "Dementia in Society" research focus is to correlate the findings of basic and clinical research on neurodegenerative diseases with social sciences and humanities studies focused on an increasingly ageing society. Interdisciplinary discussions at the interface between these fields should replace the usually separate expert debates, thus fostering and reinforcing not only exchanges between the natural and the social sciences or humanities but also the debate between basic research and applied medicine in this domain.

Spokesperson

Prof. Dr. Christian Haass
(Professor für Biochemie, LMU und Sprecher des Deutschen Zentrums für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE), München)

Working Group

Visiting Fellows

Dr. Thomas Bak

Previous Visiting Fellow

Karen Croot, Ph.D.

Previous Visiting Fellow

Events

  • Panel discussion – "Demenz in der alternden Gesellschaft"
    (Sommersemester 2011)
  • Lecture by Dr. Thomas Bak – "What Wires Together Dies Together: Patterns of Language Impairment in Neurodegenerative Diseases" (Wintersemester 2011/12)
  • Lecture by Heike von Lützau-Hohlbein – "Demenz – Aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln" (Wintersemester 2011/12)
  • Panel discussion – "War Ludwig II. dement?" (Sommersemester 2012)
  • Lecture by Prof. Thomas Klie – "Demenz: Eine Herausforderung für alle Betroffenen" (Sommersemester 2012)
  • Lecture by Prof. Karen Croot – "The Whole Picture Is The Whole Person: Clinical Management Pathways for Primary Progressive Aphasia" (Wintersemester 2012/13)

Press

  • "Litt König Ludwig II. an Demenz?" – Article in the Mittelbayerischen Zeitung on 29. Mai 2012
  • "Der vergessliche Bayernkönig. War der Kini dement?" – Radiobeitrag in the Magazin IQ – Wissenschaft und Forschung on Bayern 2 on 16. Mai 2012