Alzheimer's, or AD, is a progressive brain disease that destroys brain cells, eventually eroding memory, thought processes and behavior until the person is no longer able to work, enjoy hobbies, or have meaningful relationships with others. It is not a normal aspect of aging. The sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., AD is the most common form of dementia, which is the term for any type of loss of memory or thought processes that interferes with normal daily life. There is no cure for AD, but treating its symptoms can improve the quality of life and prolong the patient's ability to function normally. Scientists are constantly working to find new and better ways to treat AD, to prevent it altogether, or to delay its onset.
- As many as 5.3 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s.
- Alzheimer's and dementia triple healthcare costs for Americans age 65 and older.
- Every 70 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s.
- Alzheimer's is the seventh-leading cause of death.
- The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $148 billion each year.