America is about to face an epidemic of age-related mental illnesses. Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Lewy Body disease (LBD), vascular dementia (VaD), and Fronto-temporal Dementia (FTD) are all age-related conditions that will increase in prevalence as the population ages. Already, there are more Americans over the age of 60 than are under the age of 20. Those 80+ years of age are the fast growing segment of the population. The number of elderly Anglos will double by 2050, while the number of elderly Hispanics will quadruple. The number of AD cases alone is expected to triple from approximately 5.0 million today, to 16.0 million by 2050. Although there are roughly 1.5 million nursing home beds in the United States, 1.5 times as many as hospital beds, few psychiatrists practice in that setting, and the number of fellowship trained geriatric psychiatrists is in decline.
Donald R. Royall, M. D.
Division of Aging & Geriatrics,
Julia and Van Buren Parr Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry
The UTHSCSA Division of Aging and Geriatric Psychiatry is responding to these challenges through research, training and clinical care.