THE number of people affected by dementia could double by 2050, a new report warns.

Research by Alzheimer Europe found there had been a marked reduction in the prevalence of the disease in the past decade, but the working group said rates could surge over the next three decades as more people live longer.

Around 90,000 Scots are thought to be affected by dementia currently.

Alzheimer Scotland welcomed the drop and called for a targeted public health approach focused on preventative action to target future incidence.

Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, comments: “We welcome the report from Alzheimer Europe and the reduction it suggests in dementia prevalence over the past decade.

“This would appear to indicate the benefits of public health approach and the crucial role it has to play in delivering long term health benefits.

“In recent years strong evidence has emerged that some forms of dementia could be prevented.

“In moving forward we are looking ahead to launching Brain Health Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Government to develop a comprehensive Brain Health and Dementia Prevention strategy for Scotland.”

The Herald is backing a campaign by the charity to ensure people with advanced dementia are entitled to free healthcare.

A new online resource has been launched on Herald Scotland with all the latest news coverage for the campaign to date, including a Q&A podcast.