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Alzheimer’s: Raising an Awareness

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According to recent statistics, over 44 million people throughout the world have suffered from Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a disease of the mind, or more specifically, a type of dementia that causes mild to severe memory loss and can often affect thinking and behavior. Here are a few basic statistics regarding Alzheimer’s within the U.S.:

  • Every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops this disease
  • It is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • About two-thirds of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s are women
  • The nation’s cost for this disease is currently about $226 billion, however that cost is expect to rise to $1.1 trillion by the year 2050
  • Of the 5.3 million Americans with Alzheimer’s, an estimated 5.1 million people are age 65 and older, and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65
  • Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed
  • Most people (over 55%), living with Alzheimer’s are not aware of their diagnosis.

Even though the brain is probably one of the most important parts of the human anatomy, not nearly enough is understood about the functions of this organ. However over the years, scientists have come to believe that there are several issues which can lead to the onset Alzheimer’s. There are a combination of factors such as the lifestyle and environment of a person, combined with some genetic factors which eventually start to affect the human brain over time.

Researchers have concluded that genetic deficiencies are not the primary cause of Alzheimer’s in human beings. In fact, less than 5% of people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s have a genetic deficiency. The reality of the matter is that scientists simply do not for certain, the precise causes of Alzheimer’s, however they are very familiar with the symptoms of this disease.

It is a well-established fact that Alzheimer’s can eliminate or severely damaged brain cells. This results in significantly fewer brain cells and this often results in a decreased number of connections between healthy brain cells. As this disease progresses an increasing number of brain cells are effected which can eventually cause brain shrinkage in some cases.

Current statistics suggests that the global cost of Alzheimer’s treatment is over $600 billion annually, and in the U.S. alone, the cost of such treatment is well over $200 billion per year. According to medical experts, the cost of Alzheimer’s treatment for which Medicare and Medicaid will be responsible for will amount to over $150 billion in 2015.

The reality is that an increasing number of people have someone in their circle of friends or family who have been affected by this disease. Because of this there are several prominent organizations, such as the Alzheimer’s Association, who have made it their goal to not only bring awareness to the disease, but to also help raise funds to further research the causes and possible cures. For more information on Alzheimer’s visit http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_what_is_alzheimers.asp.