Stark dementia warning comes as third of over-65s are already developing the condition

Warning as third of over-65s already developing dementia. Credit: ITV News

It is a stark, emotive warning - one in three babies born this year in Britain will develop dementia in later life, according to the charity Alzheimer's Research UK.

In many ways, and despite the panicked newspaper headlines, the statistics don't tell us much we didn't already know.

Because even now a third of over-65s are developing the condition, while one in three of us, will at some point, have to care for someone with dementia.

So talk of a national crisis is nothing new - 850,000 in the UK are already affected by a disease that robs our memory, personality and abilities and places an enormous burden on our families and the health and social care system.

Reading between the lines, that's exactly why Alzheimers Research UK has simply taken existing data and used it to such dramatic effect.

It is arguable the charity has rather oversimplified the message.

After all, a recent study by Cambridge University found that rates of dementia in some Western countries, including the UK, are actually stabilising rather than increasing.

A third of over-65s are developing the condition. Credit: PA

That might be down to the baby-boomer generation adopting healthier lifestyles and could suggest there is a preventative component to the condition.

Indeed, very early trials of two drugs - Solanezumab and Aducanumab - seem to improve the memory of people with very early signs of Alzheimers.

But there is a yawning gap between the amount of money spent on cancer research and the funds available to study dementia.

For every five researchers looking at cancer, there is just one working on dementia.

One in three babies born this year in Britain will develop dementia. Credit: ITV News

"The enormous progress we've made on treating cancer just hasn't been matched with this condition because the funding is not there," sighs Dr Norton.

"That's what this is about. We have to raise awareness - if we are going to beat dementia, we must invest in research to find new treatments and preventions, to find that elusive cure."

Little wonder, without such progress, that dementia has overtaken cancer as the disease we now fear the most.