War on Alzheimer's
November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month. The Alzheimer's Association estimates that more than 5.2 million Americans had Alzheimer's disease in 2014, a number that has continued to rise over the past two years.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia which is a collective term for a number of conditions marked by a loss of mental abilities. The disease generally begins near the hippocampus, the brain's memory center, and then spreads to areas of the brain that control language, judgement and physical activity. The disease is degenerative, which is to say it the symptoms associated with the disease get worse over time.
Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer's and no treatment that appears to stop it from spreading in the brain. The disease can linger for years causing the cost of care to rise exponentially for both government insurance programs and families. According to federal government estimates, the cost of Alzheimer's in the United States is $214 billion annually, however, we are a long way from finding a prevention or cure.
The road to a solution is going to require additional and significant sums of federal research funding. You can join the war on Alzheimer's by donating, participating in a walk, and by helping to persuade congress to make Alzheimer's disease a national priority. Click here for more information.