BRITAIN is in the grip of a dementia time bomb with new cases being diagnosed every three minutes, experts have warned.
Disturbing figures reveal 225,000 people will fall prey to the illness this year alone as cases of senility rocket.
Research shows 850,000 people in the UK already have some form of dementia, a deterioration of mental processes.
But in less than a decade more than a million will suffer by some degree and by 2050 the figure will reach two million.
The scale of the battle could cripple the NHS as creaking services struggle to cope with demand, experts say.
Treating those with dementia costs the UK economy £26billion a year – the equivalent of more than £30,000 for every sufferer.
The stark warning comes after figures published yesterday showed the number of emergency admissions to hospital increased by almost 50 per cent between 2008 and 2013. One in four hospital beds is now occupied by those with the condition which involves memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning.
George McNamara, of the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “Dementia is the biggest health and care challenge facing the country today. We ignore it at our peril.
“The rising number of people living with dementia calls for a re-think about how our NHS and care system responds to the needs of the 850,000 people living with dementia.