Alzheimer’s disease carries an annual price tag of $148 billion dollars, not to mention the personal toll that it takes on the over 5.3 million patients and their families.
More than 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s, and every 72 seconds someone in America develops the disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, by mid-century someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds, and there will be nearly a million new cases per year.
“With the country facing unprecedented economic challenges and a rapidly aging baby boomer population, now is the time to address the burgeoning Alzheimer’s crisis that triples healthcare costs for Americans aged 65 and over,” said Harry Johns, Alzheimer’s Association CEO.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive loss of memory and cognitive function. It destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior that are severe enough to affect everyday life.
Experts believe that early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and early intervention with improved therapies provides the greatest opportunity to modify or halt disease progression. Most current therapies for Alzheimer’s treat the symptoms associated with it and not the disease itself.
“There is a rich, diverse variety of treatment possibilities for Alzheimer’s that scientists are exploring, offering great hope that drugs that may slow or even reverse disease progression could be on the horizon—saving millions of dollars in public health programs,” said Ronald Petersen, M.D., Ph.D, Alzheimer’s Association Medical Scientific Advisory Council Chair. On World Alzheimer’s Day, we renew our commitment to early diagnosis and aggressive Alzheimer’s research in order to improve the health outcomes for people living with this disease.
Dr. Andrew Keegan and other local physicians are currently researching potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s patients that target causes of the disease, such as amyloid plaques in the brain. The buildup of these plaques is thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these investigational drugs use antibodies, or immune system proteins, to dissolve the plaques.
“There are too many lives, too little time, and too much at stake for anything less than an aggressive plan to address the threat of this disease,” Johns said.
Roskamp is a not-for-profit research Institute located in Sarasota, Fla., that is dedicated to understanding the causes of, and finding cures for, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease. The Institute’s Memory Clinic also offers comprehensive cognitive and medical assessment toward differential diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and offers treatments and disease management options once the diagnostic evaluation is complete.
Dr. Andrew Keegan
email: rclinic @ rfdn.org
For more information, please contact the Institute at (941) 752-2949, Roskamp’s Clinical Trials Division in Sarasota at (941) 256-8018 or visit www.mullanalzheimer.com.