What Is Alzheimers Disease
- Alzheimers disease is the most common type of dementia.
- It is a progressive disease beginning with mild memory loss and possibly leading to loss of the ability to carry on a conversation and respond to the environment.
- Alzheimers disease involves parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language.
- It can seriously affect a persons ability to carry out daily activities.
Concerned About Having Alzheimers
If youre concerned about your thinking or memory, or want to establish a baseline from which to monitor your cognition, BrainTest® is the application for you. BrainTest is the same kind of screening test at doctors offices, but one thats uniquely designed to screen for early changes in cognition associated with Alzheimers Disease, Dementia, and Mild Cognitive Impairment. BrainTest can be taken in the privacy of your own home, anonymously scored at our centralized scoring core-lab, and result videos delivered inside the application feature an explanation of your score from a Board Certified Physician. When youre ready, these results can be shared with your doctor to help start the conversation if youre concerned.
Alz. . Latest Facts and Figures Report. Alzheimers Association. Retrieved from
Support For Family And Friends
Currently, many people living with Alzheimers disease are cared for at home by family members. Caregiving can have positive aspects for the caregiver as well as the person being cared for. It may bring personal fulfillment to the caregiver, such as satisfaction from helping a family member or friend, and lead to the development of new skills and improved family relationships.
Although most people willingly provide care to their loved ones and friends, caring for a person with Alzheimers disease at home can be a difficult task and may become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior. As the disease gets worse, people living with Alzheimers disease often need more intensive care.
Read Also: Can A Person With Dementia Drive
Greater Risks Of Alzheimers And Dementia For Blacks And Latinos
18.6% of Blacks and 14% of Hispanics age 65 and older have Alzheimers compared with 10% of White older adults .
- Other prevalence studies also indicate that older Blacks are about twiceas likely to have Alzheimers or other dementias as older Whites.
Common Forms Of Dementia
There are many different forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form and may contribute to 60-70% of cases. Other major forms include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies , and a group of diseases that contribute to frontotemporal dementia . Dementia may also develop after a stroke or in the context of certain infections such as HIV, harmful use of alcohol, repetitivephysical injuries to the brain or nutritional deficiencies. The boundaries between different forms of dementia are indistinct and mixed forms often co-exist.
Alzheimer’s In The United States
lzheimers in the United States is becoming more prevalent than ever.
The number of men and women with Alzheimers disease is expected to double in the next 30 years, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census data.
It is estimated that 6 million Americans aged 65 and older have Alzheimers today, or about one new case every 65 seconds. This number is expected to rise to 13 million.
Managing Alzheimer’s Disease Behavior
Common behavioral symptoms of Alzheimers include sleeplessness, wandering, agitation, anxiety, and aggression. Scientists are learning why these symptoms occur and are studying new treatments drug and nondrug to manage them. Research has shown that treating behavioral symptoms can make people with Alzheimers more comfortable and makes things easier for caregivers.
Read Also: How To Engage With Dementia Patients
What Is The Cost Of Alzheimers Disease On Caregivers
Caregivers of patients with Alzheimers and dementia shoulder a heavy load. The latest facts on Alzheimers show that caregivers spent over 18.5 billion hours of their own time last year, a contribution valued at nearly $234 billion, according to the Alzheimers Associations report. In addition, the report found that 83 percent of these caregiversmostly family and friendswere unpaid.
Similar to last year, nearly two-thirds of these caregivers were women. Among these caregivers, 41 percent made a combined household income of $50,000 or less. The total lifetime cost of care for someone with dementia was estimated at $350,174 in 2018, the Alzheimers Association said.
Who Gets Alzheimers Disease
- 2-in-3 people with Alzheimers are women.
- African and Hispanic Americans are more likely to develop Alzheimers than Caucasian Americans.
- Mississippi has a higher rate of Alzheimers mortality than any other state at 45.8%.
- Alzheimers mortality is lowest in New York at 13.1%.
- 30% of people with Alzheimers also have heart disease, and 29% also have diabetes.
Don’t Miss: Why Do Dementia Patients Get So Angry
Risk Factors And Prevention
Although age is the strongest known risk factor for dementia, it is not an inevitable consequence of biological ageing. Further, dementia does not exclusively affect older people young onset dementia accounts for up to 9% of cases. Studies show that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline and dementia by being physically active, not smoking, avoiding harmful use of alcohol,controlling their weight, eating a healthy diet, and maintaining healthy blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Additional risk factors include depression, social isolation, low educational attainment, cognitive inactivity and air pollution.
Clinical Trials And Research
- Important clinical trials that focus on potential prevention and treatment for Alzheimers are under way, but we must continue to urge that these trials be sped up and that participants reflect the diversity of all those with Alzheimers. See our clinical trial page for more information.
- It is important that our government officials make fighting Alzheimers a national priority and dedicate adequate resources to research. Go to our action centerfor concrete ways that you can help.
- UsAgainstAlzheimers Chairman and Co-Founder George Vradenburg serves on the World Dementia Council to tackle this problem globally. Find out more about their work here.
You May Like: How Quickly Does Dementia Progress In The Elderly
As Populations Age Rates Soar
by Cheryl Bond-Nelms, AARP, November 17, 2017
The Alzheimers Association says, Someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s dementia every 66 seconds.
Degenerative brain disease and dementia are on the rise across all 50 U.S. states, according to the Alzheimers Association. As the rate of Alzheimers continues to escalate, more financial stress will be placed on health care programs. The trend will also increase the need for caregivers nationwide.
An estimated 5.5 million Americans are living with Alzheimers disease, according to the Alzheimers Association. The statistics are broken down by age and ethnicity and are listed as follows on their site.
- One in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s dementia.
- Almost two-thirds of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.
- African Americans are about twice as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementia as whites.
- Hispanics are about one and one-half times as likely to have Alzheimer’s or other dementia as whites.
Another startling figure exposed by the Alzheimers Association is that Someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s dementia every 66 seconds.
The state with the highest rate of Alzheimers is Alaska. Cases of the disease are projected to increase from 7,100 in 2017 to 11,000 in 2025 an increase of 54.9 percent, reports AA.
Below is a list of the 10 states that are predicted to have the highest rate increases of Alzheimers by 2025.
Alzheimers Increase, 2017-2025: 54.9 percent
How Many People Are Living With Early
Fact: Early-onset Alzheimers is considered a relatively rare form of the condition, accounting for 10 percent of all Alzheimers cases. There are an estimated 200,000 people in the U.S. living with early-onset Alzheimers, which is a diagnosis before 65 years old. While some people develop Alzheimers in their 40s or 50s, others can develop the disease as early as their 30s. Processes that eventually lead to Alzheimers symptoms, including a build-up of brain plaques, can start as early as our 20s.
You May Like: Is Lewy Body Dementia A Genetic Disorder
How Alzheimer’s Disease Is Treated
There’s currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but medicines are available that can help relieve some of the symptoms.
Various other types of support are also available to help people with Alzheimer’s live as independently as possible, such as making changes to your home environment so it’s easier to move around and remember daily tasks.
Psychological treatments such as cognitive stimulation therapy may also be offered to help support your memory, problem solving skills and language ability.
Read more about treating Alzheimer’s disease.
What Is The Average Life Expectancy Of Someone Living With Alzheimers Disease
Life expectancy varies depending on the person or when someone developed the disease. The Mayo Clinic reports that in general, most people live for three to 11 years after they are diagnosed, though some people may live for over 20 years after a diagnosis.
Recommended Reading: What Are Two Stigmas Associated With Dementia
The Basics Of Alzheimers Disease
Scientists are conducting studies to learn more about plaques, tangles, and other biological features of Alzheimers disease. Advances in brain imaging techniques allow researchers to see the development and spread of abnormal amyloid and tau proteins in the living brain, as well as changes in brain structure and function. Scientists are also exploring the very earliest steps in the disease process by studying changes in the brain and body fluids that can be detected years before Alzheimers symptoms appear. Findings from these studies will help in understanding the causes of Alzheimers and make diagnosis easier.
One of the great mysteries of Alzheimers disease is why it largely affects older adults. Research on normal brain aging is exploring this question. For example, scientists are learning how age-related changes in the brain may harm neurons and affect other types of brain cells to contribute to Alzheimers damage. These age-related changes include atrophy of certain parts of the brain, inflammation, blood vessel damage, production of unstable molecules called free radicals, and mitochondrial dysfunction .
High Costs And Effects Of Caregiving
- The estimated number of caregivers for people with Alzheimers and other dementias in 2020 is 11.2 million.
- Caregivers provided 15.3 billion hours of unpaid care in 2020, valued at almost $257 billion, to people living with Alzheimers and other dementias.
- Two-thirds of dementia caregivers are women.
- The prevalence of depression is higher among dementia caregivers than other caregivers, such as those who provide help to individuals with schizophrenia or stroke .
Recommended Reading: How Close Are We To Finding A Cure For Alzheimer’s
Impact On Families And Carers
In 2019, informal carers spent on average 5 hours per day providing care for people living with dementia. This can be overwhelming . Physical, emotional and financial pressures can cause great stress tofamilies and carers, and support is required from the health, social, financial and legal systems. Fifty percent of the global cost of dementia is attributed to informal care.
What Is Known About Reducing Your Risk Of Alzheimers Disease
The science on risk reduction is quickly evolving, and major breakthroughs are within reach. For example, there is growing evidence that people who adopt healthy lifestyle habits like regular exercise and blood pressure management can lower their risk of dementia. There is growing scientific evidence that healthy behaviors, which have been shown to prevent cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, may also reduce risk for subjective cognitive decline. To learn more about the current state of evidence on dementia risk factors and the implications for public health, please read the following summaries on Cardiovascular Health, Exercise, Diabetes and Obesity, Traumatic Brain Injury , Tobacco and Alcohol, Diet and Nutrition, Sleep, Sensory Impairment, and Social Engagement or the Compiled Report .
Recommended Reading: How To Cite Alzheimer’s Association Apa
Alzheimers Is The Only Top
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimers or another dementia, killing more than breast and prostate cancer combined.
- Alzheimers disease is listed as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. States, but it may cause more deaths than is recognized by official sources.
- The COVID-19 pandemic caused Alzheimers deaths to increase by approximately 16% more than expected.
- Deaths due to Alzheimers between 2000 and 2019 have more than doubled, increasing 145%. During the same time period, deaths from heart disease increased 7.3%.
Health Environmental And Lifestyle Factors
Research suggests that a host of factors beyond genetics may play a role in the development and course of Alzheimers. There is a great deal of interest, for example, in the relationship between cognitive decline and vascular conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure, as well as metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Ongoing research will help us understand whether and how reducing risk factors for these conditions may also reduce the risk of Alzheimers.
A nutritious diet, physical activity, social engagement, and mentally stimulating pursuits have all been associated with helping people stay healthy as they age. These factors might also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimers. Researchers are testing some of these possibilities in clinical trials.
Recommended Reading: How Young Can Early Onset Alzheimer’s Start
Alzheimers In The United States
- Alzheimers is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
- Alzheimers is the only disease in the 10 leading causes of deaths in the United States that cannot be cured, prevented or slowed.
- 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimers.
- Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to see at least a 14% rise in the prevalence of Alzheimers.
- There was an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimers between 2000 and 2014.
- More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimers.
- By 2050, its estimated there will be as many as 16 million Americans living with Alzheimers.
- Every 66 seconds someone in the United States develops Alzheimers.
- 1 in 3 seniors dies with some form of dementia.
- When the first wave of baby boomers reaches age 85 , it is projected that more than 3 million people age 85 and older will have Alzheimers.
- One-third of Americans over age 85 are afflicted with the illness.
- Typical life expectancy after an Alzheimers diagnosis is 4-to-8 years.
- By 2050, there could be as many as 7 million people age 85 and older with Alzheimers disease, accounting for half of all people 65 and older with Alzheimers.
- Proportion of People With Alzheimers Disease in the United States by Age: 85+ years 38%, 75-84 years, 44%, 65-74 years, 15%, < 65 years, 4%
Who Has Alzheimers Disease
- In 2020, as many as 5.8 million Americans were living with Alzheimers disease.1
- Younger people may get Alzheimers disease, but it is less common.
- The number of people living with the disease doubles every 5 years beyond age 65.
- This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
- Symptoms of the disease can first appear after age 60, and the risk increases with age.
Read Also: Why Is Alzheimer’s On The Increase
Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented
As the exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not clear, there’s no known way to prevent the condition.
But there are things you can do that may reduce your risk or delay the onset of dementia, such as:
- staying physically fit and mentally active
These measures have other health benefits, such as lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and improving your overall mental health.
Read more about preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Medications To Treat The Underlying Alzheimer’s Disease Process
Aducanumab is the first disease-modifying therapy approved by the FDA to treat Alzheimers disease. The medication helps to reduce amyloid deposits in the brain and may help slow the progression of Alzheimers, although it has not yet been shown to affect clinical outcomes such as progression of cognitive decline or dementia. A doctor or specialist will likely perform tests, such as a PET scan or analysis of cerebrospinal fluid, to look for evidence of amyloid plaques and help decide if the treatment is right for the patient.
Aducanumab was approved through the FDAs Accelerated Approval Program. This process requires an additional study after approval to confirm the anticipated clinical benefit. If the follow-up trial fails to verify clinical benefit, the FDA may withdraw approval of the drug. Results of the phase 4 clinical trial for aducanumab are expected to be available by early 2030.
Several other disease-modifying medications are being tested in people with mild cognitive impairment or early Alzheimers as potential treatments.
Read Also: Can You Find The Camel Alzheimer’s
Disproportionate Impact On Women
Globally, dementia has a disproportionate impact on women. Sixty-five percent of total deaths due to dementia are women, and disability-adjusted life years due to dementia are roughly 60% higher in women than in men. Additionally, women providethe majority of informal care for people living with dementia, accounting for 70% of carer hours.
What Is The Burden Of Alzheimers Disease In The United States
- Alzheimers disease is one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States.2
- The 6th leading cause of death among US adults.
- The 5th leading cause of death among adults aged 65 years or older.3
In 2020, an estimated 5.8 million Americans aged 65 years or older had Alzheimers disease.1 This number is projected to nearly triple to 14 million people by 2060.1
In 2010, the costs of treating Alzheimers disease were projected to fall between $159 and $215 billion.4 By 2040, these costs are projected to jump to between $379 and more than $500 billion annually.4
Death rates for Alzheimers disease are increasing, unlike heart disease and cancer death rates that are on the decline.5 Dementia, including Alzheimers disease, has been shown to be under-reported in death certificates and therefore the proportion of older people who die from Alzheimers may be considerably higher.6
Recommended Reading: What Are The Beginning Signs Of Dementia