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Dementia in an aging 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.


  • Prof. Dr. Christian Haass
    (Faculty of Medicine, Biochemistry, LMU and Speaker of DZNE (Deutschen Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen, Munich)

Working Group

Visiting Fellows

  • Dr. Thomas Bak
    (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, The University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK)
  • Dr. Karen Croot
    (School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia)



CAS<sup>Video</sup> – LogoPlease find video recordings of this Research Focus here: CASVideo – Dementia in Society.