Alzheimer's, Dementia Rate To Double In US by 2060

Ebony Scott
September 23, 2018

There's more on Alzheimer's disease at the Alzheimer's Association. This disease is not only hard for the individual, but it is also extremely hard for family and friends to watch a loved one slowly decline.

As of 2014, black Americans were the most likely racial group to have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or a related dementia.

"It seems that like in any other neurodegenerative disease, the key will be to go into prevention, as early as possible before signs and symptoms of the pathology occurs", says Danny Bar-Zohar, global head of neuroscience development at Novartis.

"Although the primary risk factor for ADRD [Alzheimer's disease and related dementias] is age, race and ethnicity is also an important demographic risk factor", the study notes. "The risk of developing dementia can be reduced by the control of diabetes, hypertension and obesity in the middle age", said Dr Suthar. This disease is fatal because it is irreversible. However, there are medications that can help reduce the symptoms to slow down the worsening of the disease.

Alzheimer's occurs when neurons in the brain lose their ability to communicate with one another, leading patients to struggle to remember names and places, orient themselves or interact with loved ones.

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People also fear they will be treated differently by family and friends, someone else will have to manage their money and they will become unable to make decisions.

Despite decades of research and hundreds of millions of dollars, the precise cause of the neurodegenerative disease - which leaves victims suffering from memory loss, disorientation and behavioural problems - remains poorly understood.

Alzheimer's has multifaceted impact on the individual, family and society as it is incurable, as researchers have been helpless in unravelling the mysteries of the genesis of senile plaques (deposits of amyloid proteins) and neurofibrillary tangles (bundles of dead neurones) within the brain of Alzheimer's patients, says Dr. Shaji.

'But every diagnosis of Alzheimer's is as different as the person who receives it. Some common behaviors include increased restlessness, irritability, physical outbursts, and overall unusual behaviour such as hiding items. It has been one year since the adoption of the World Health Organisation's (WHO) landmark Global Plan of Action on the Public Health Response to Dementia 2017-2025, but now more than ever we need strong global advocacy to ensure that governments implement and fund national dementia plans.

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