BVI News

Over 300 estimated to be living with dementia in the BVI

A section of the main island of Tortola.

The Virgin Islands Alzheimer’s Association (VIAA) has revealed that data from the National Health Insurance database show that there are about 188 people living with dementia in the Virgin Islands.

However, the organisation stated that there could be as many as over 300 people living with the condition, given the fact that most cases go undiagnosed.

“International data states that in addition to those that have been diagnosed, another 75 percent are usually undiagnosed. Therefore, a realistic estimate number of persons in the territory with dementia is well over three hundred,” the VIAA said in a statement released in observance of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month.

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative disease that destroys brain cells, causing thinking ability and memory to deteriorate over time. Experts say that the condition is not a normal part of ageing, and is irreversible.

The condition usually puts a mental strain on family members who often watch as their loved ones struggle on a daily basis.

The VIAA referred to international statistics which show that up to 55 million, or 40 percent of projected dementia cases could be delayed or potentially even avoided by addressing certain risk factors.

Some of these risk factors include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, infrequent social contact, head injuries, and conditions including diabetes, hearing loss, depression, obesity, and hypertension.

The remaining risk factors include air pollution and restricted access to early education, which governments are responsible for addressing.

In the meantime Health Minister Vincent Wheatley is urging those diagnosed with dementia to continue reducing the risk factors that make the condition worse.

“Those who have been diagnosed with dementia should continue to practice risk reduction activities which could help them live better quality and longer lives,” the minister stated.

The VIAA invites the public to take part in the month’s activities including the Association’s Dementia Risk Reduction Health Fair at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park on Saturday, 23rd September from 10 am to 3 pm.

Persons are also invited to the Power of Music on the Brain Concert on Virgin Gorda on Saturday, 30th September from 2 pm to 5 pm.


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  1. In Addition says:

    Air Pollution courtesy of elected Governments
    Wonder how many young people and children have learning disabilities, behavioural issues,asthma.
    These also can be attributed to air pollution as a possible factor.

  2. Hmm says:

    That’s a lot for a small populous. That’s 1% of the population. Sounds small but for something like dementia it’s a lot.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  3. El Demonio Negro says:

    And a few hundred still employed as managers and supervisors. It’s terrible in the VI.

  4. Big Richard says:

    dementia = HOA

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