It’s November again, which means it’s National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. In light of the seriousness of the disease, and in recognition of those who are affected by it, we want to spread awareness about this important senior health topic.
Specifically, we want to:
This November, an estimated 5.5-6.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Another estimated 1 million Americans are currently suffering from other types of dementia. Countless caregivers and family members are impacted. Without a solution, by 2050 as many as 16 million Americans will be diagnosed.
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and every 66 seconds someone develops the disease. The total cost to society of loved ones lost is incalculable, though financial experts estimate healthcare and other related costs for treatment in 2017 will reach $259 billion.
Ronald Reagan was the first president to officially recognize the disease with a month-long initiative to raise awareness. Sadly, little more than decade later, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a disease that ultimately took his life. The current White House has yet again renewed interest in Alzheimer’s Research.
Current research initiatives include the NIH’s Brain Research, through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and the Exceptional Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration (EUREKA) prize competitions.
TrialMatch is an Alzheimer’s Association initiative to match individuals with Alzheimer’s to clinical trials. As individuals participate in research studies, more is discovered about what causes the disease, how it impacts the brain, and who is at risk. In addition to helping learn more about the disease, these participants may be able to receive the most advanced experimental treatment methods available.
Research suggests Alzheimer’s is the result of brain abnormalities, such as plaques, tangles, inflammation and other types of brain damage. Keeping your brain healthy throughout your life – and into your senior years – can limit your chances of developing Alzheimer’s. Follow these Alzheimer’s prevention tips from the National Institute of Health:
Helping someone manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s can be challenging, especially as the disease increases in severity. In order to avoid conflict, and to help cope with the impact of Alzheimer’s on a loved one, the Mayo Clinic offers solutions to work toward reducing frustrations:
Last, you can spread the word. Raising awareness is the point of Alzheimer’s Awareness month. The more people are aware of the impact of this cruel disease, the better we can reduce future occurences, improve Alzheimer’s research, and save lives. Share this page with a friend!