supporting research and raising awareness
of alzheimer’s disease and dementia
More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, as many as 16 million Americans will have the disease.
Considering America’s top 10 causes of death, Alzheimer’s is the only one that cannot be cured, prevented, or lowered.
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and kills more than breast and prostate cancer combined.
In 2016, Alzheimer’s and other dementias will cost the nation $236 billion. By 2050, the cost could rise to over $1 trillion.
Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. By 2050, that number is expected to rise to every 33 seconds.
Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys a person’s memory and thinking skills. In simple terms, Alzheimer’s disease slowly robs a person of their memory as well as their capacity to remain independent adults.
Alzheimer’s disease is considered the most common form of dementia accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. It is important to note that Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. Although most people with the disease start showing signs in their mid-60s, Alzheimer’s can also affect people as young as 40 or 50.
Someone who has Alzheimer’s disease can live anywhere from a few years to a few decades depending on their age and health. However, it is most common for Alzheimer’s patients to survive about 8 years.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are treatments available that may temporarily help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms. The use of medications may help lessen symptoms, such as memory loss or confusion.
Many scientist and medical practitioners are working together in order to better understand what causes Alzheimer’s. While taking into consideration genetic, biological, and environmental influences, researchers aim to find a cure and perhaps a way of preventing this devastating disease.
Dementia is often inaccurately described as memory loss. However, the term dementia is not representative of a specific disease. Rather, dementia is a general term which represents a decline in cognitive and behavioral abilities to such a degree that it interferes with a person’s daily life.
Symptoms of dementia depend on the cause and can vary significantly from one person to another. Some cognitive symptoms may include memory loss, confusion, and disorientation, as well as trouble with communication and language, reasoning and judgment, planning and organizing, coordination and motor functions, and managing complex tasks. Some psychological symptoms may include personality changes, depression, anxiety, inappropriate behavior, paranoia, and agitation.
While most dementias tend to be irreversible and progressive, there are some that can improve with appropriate treatment. Some of these dementias include depression, vitamin deficiencies, poor reaction to medications, and chronic alcoholism. Some progressive and irreversible dementias include Vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Currently, there is no cure for these and treatment depends on the specific dementia.
There are many risk factors that can lead to dementia, some of which can be controlled and some that cannot. Researchers are actively investigating different factors associated with decreasing the number of risks as well as prevention of dementia, including diet and exercise.
Types of Dementia
Dementia with Lewy Bodies