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Alzheimer's Disease - Why so much emphasis?

Our population is aging. Just look at the baby boomers, ranging from their 40s to their 50s, the largest demographic in their age category. It is expected that the number of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) patients will greatly increase. Researchers around the world are working to find a treatment that will control, cure or prevent Alzheimer's disease, but there are no guarantees. As of today, there is no known cure.

Statistics show that 4 million people over age 65 are afflicted with this disease, and by 2050 that number

may climb to 14 million. One in 10 persons over age 65 have the disease, and nearly half are over age 85.

A small percentage of younger people in their 30s and 40s get the disease. Recent research has shown

links between some genes and AD, but in about 90% of cases there is no clear genetic link.

      • Deaths Annually: 49,558 (2000 census)
      • Age-Adjusted Death Rate: 18.0 deaths per 100,000 population 2000)
      • Cause of Death Rank Among Americans: 8th (2000)
      • Source: National Vital Statistics Reports, Vol. 50, No. 15

    The U.S. spends over 100 billion dollars a year on the disease, but Medicare and private insurance do not cover the long-term care needs of people with Alzheimer's.


    Last updated 09/09/14.