New Rte Documentary Highlights Extremely Rare Form of Alzheimer S

New Rte Documentary Highlights Extremely Rare Form of Alzheimer S


The Alzheimer Society of Ireland welcomes the documentary 50/50, which airedon RTÉ 1 last night on Sunday 2nd February.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland notes that the form of Alzheimer’s featured is very unusual and rare andisnot the form of dementia and Alzheimer’s affecting the majority of people in Ireland.

There are only three known cases in Ireland and approximately 100 cases worldwide related to themutated gene featured in the documentary which causes early onset, dominant familial Alzheimer’s. The programme followed 30 year old Ryan O’Neill as he faced the decision of whether to find out via a genetic test if he was carrying the mutated gene.

“The Alzheimer Society of Ireland commends Ryan O’Neill’s bravery in going through what must have a very difficult journey. Familial Alzheimer's disease is a very rare autosomal dominant disease with early onset which affects a very small number of people worldwide,” stated Gerry Martin, Chief Executive, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland.

Mr Martin added “The Alzheimer Society of Ireland provides up to one million hours of community care in Ireland every year. There are supports and services available which can enable everyone with Alzheimer’s and dementia to live well with this condition.”

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland is currently engaged with the Government to ensure the development of Ireland’s first National Dementia Strategy which is due to be published in March 2014. This strategy will ensure that national health and social care systems are adequately structured to provide high-quality long-term care to people throughout the dementia journey.

The Society urges anyone who has concerns following the airing of the documentary on general issues relating to Alzheimer’s and dementia to contact its National Helpline on 1800 341 341 or log onto


  • There arecurrently more than 41,700 people living with dementia in Ireland, nearly 9% of these have early onset dementia.
  • The number of people with dementia in Ireland is expected to rise to 147,000 by 2041 due to an ageingpopulation.
  • Approximately 4,000 cases of dementia are identified in Ireland each year.
  • There areapproximately 50,000 family carers caring for someone with at least one symptom of dementia in Ireland.

For more information please contact:

Nicole Matthews, Communications Manager, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland on 086-3988066 Grace Cassidy, Communications Executive, The Alzheimer Society of Ireland on 086-0472900.