Study shows states will see an average 44 percent increase in Alzheimer’s disease by 2025

According to the May 11 issue of Neurology, U. S. states will see an average 44 percent increase in Alzheimer’s disease by 2025, with the Western and Southeastern states to be hit the hardest. The study, “State-Specific Projections Through 2025 of Alzheimer Disease Prevalence,” reinforces findings from previous studies showing that the United States will face a devastating blow from Alzheimer’s disease unless science finds a way to slow the progression of the disease or prevent it.

“Few states will be spared from the impact of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Stephen McConnell, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association senior vice president of advocacy and public policy, during testimony before the U. S. Senate Aging Subcommittee of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions today in Washington. “Left unchecked, Alzheimer’s will overwhelm our health care system, bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid, drain billions of dollars from American business, and destroy retirement security for tens of millions of families.”

“The best way to ensure the estimates in the Neurology study do not come true is to find an effective method of preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease,” McConnell said. “We urge Congress to invest an additional $40 million for fiscal year 2005 to carry out large-scale clinical trials that will identify therapies and treatments capable of slowing or halting the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s.”

The Alzheimer’s Association has also launched a national campaign calling upon Baby Boomers and all Americans to learn how to “Maintain Your Brain.” This includes learning more about what is known about Alzheimer’s; understanding the progress that the research community has made in fighting the disease; and joining the Association in advocating for a renewed commitment to research and improved care for those with the disease. There is growing evidence that lifestyle and health habits that can keep the heart healthy — such as exercising, eating properly, and maintaining proper weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels — may also keep the brain healthy as we age. http://www.alz.org

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