As one progresses through old age, it had been thought that the risk for Alzheimer's disease would diminish especially after age 90, but new statistics cast doubt on a reduced need for Alzheimer's care in superannuated populations.
Researchers in Italy have found that while about 6 percent of seniors aged 80-84 were diagnosed with some form of dementia, that percentage more than tripled among those aged 90-94, with statistics trending towards higher rates among females.
"This study's results confirm that Alzheimer's and dementia are very common among the oldest people in society," said lead author Dr Ugo Lucca.
"We believe this strengthens the need to shift more of the focus of clinical research to this segment of the elderly population."
At the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, similar results were found by UK scientists who noted that women over age 95 had a 50 percent chance of developing dementia.
Dr William Thies, Alzheimer's Association chief medical officer, says that while clinical trials for treatments have been progressing, families and others responsible for providing for patients will need to consider Alzheimer's care even as their loved ones approach their centennial.