Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia, frequently found in people over the age of 65. Although it is possible to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at an earlier age (commonly known as Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease). Approximately 1 in 8 older Americans has Alzheimer's Disease. With an increasing number of Americans approaching retirement age, the number of individuals with Alzheimer's Disease is expected to reach 5.4 million by the end of 2012.
In particular, women are at a greater risk to develop Alzheimer's Disease, than men. Of the 5.2 million people over the age of 65 with Alzheimer's Disease, 3.4 million are women and 1.8 million are men. That implies that a woman is almost 2 times as likely to develop Alzheimer's than a man. In addition, Alzheimer's Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and the only cause of death among the top 10, that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed.
Alzheimer's Disease is affects more than just the individual, over 15 million Americans provide unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer's or other dementias, with payments for care being estimated to be $200 billion USD in 2012 alone. These costs are expected to increase from $200 billion to $1.1 trillion by 2050.
In addition to the financial costs of taking care of an individual afflicted by Alzheimer's Disease, the pressures involved in caring for such an individual can be high and wide-ranging, presenting social, psychological, physical, and emotional challenges to the caregiver.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Alzheimer's Disease, which worsens as it progresses and the individual's condition deteriorates. Currently available treatments only address the symptoms of the disease, and not the underlying condition. However, there is hope: studies have shown that active medical management of Alzheimer's Disease can significantly improve quality of life through all stages of the disease, for both the individuals with Alzheimer's Disease, and their caregivers.
—Challenges in planning or solving problems
—Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
—Confusion with time or place
—Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
—New problems with words in speaking or writing
—Misplacing items and losing the ability to retrace steps
—Decreased or poor judgment
—Withdrawal from work or social activities
—Changes in mood and personality
If you are concerned about your memory loss, and would like to receive a complimentary assessment, please call us today.
If you, or someone you know, has Alzheimer's Disease, and is interested in volunteering for one of our many studies, please do not hesitate to call us. Or if it is more convenient for you, please fill out a questionnaire, and we will contact you as soon as possible.
We believe that everyone deserves a better quality of life, and understanding the disease is the first step in finding a reliable treatment for Alzheimer's Disease.
All statistics were taken from the latest report published by the Alzheimer's Association in March 2012.
Alzheimer's Association. 2012 Alzheimer's disease facts and figures. Alzheimer's and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. March 2012; 8:131-168.