Alzheimer's cases are about to skyrocket
An estimated 15 million Americans will have clinical Alzheimer's disease or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) by 2060, a concerning new study published Thursday found. The estimates mean that cases of Alzheimer's and MCI will more than double in four decades, as just 6 million cases have been recorded in 2017, HealthDay News reports.
The leap in numbers comes from the aging Baby Boomer generation, as about 47 million Americans currently live with "some evidence of preclinical Alzheimer's," said the study's author, Ron Brookmeyer. "Many of them will not progress to Alzheimer's dementia in their lifetimes. We need to have improved methods to identify which persons will progress to clinical symptoms, and develop interventions for them that could slow the progression of the disease, if not stop it altogether."
The study estimated that 9.3 million Americans would have Alzheimer's disease by 2060, and 40 percent of people living with Alzheimer's by then would need around-the-clock care, such as a placement in a nursing home. Another 5.7 million people would have the milder MCI, which HealthDay News describes as "significant short-term memory loss" but not necessarily "problems with daily functioning."
There is no cure for Alzheimer's, which is the fifth-leading cause of death for adults over the age of 65.