National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – November
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. Almost two thirds of the 5.3 million Americans diagnosed with the disease are women. By 2025, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s is expected to grow past 7 million. The impact of Alzheimer’s on family caregivers is substantial. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that in 2014, family caregivers provided close to 18 billion hours of unpaid care associated with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive mental deterioration that can occur in middle or old age, due to generalized degeneration of the brain (loss of brain cells). Essentially, it results in a loss of brain function which affects memory, thinking and behavior. The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown and currently there is no known cure, however medical science is working hard to find a solution and to improve treatments for this debilitating disease. There are drug and non-drug treatments which may help with both cognitive and behavioral symptoms including medications for memory loss and treatments for sleep changes. Currently, there are five FDA approved drugs available to help treat symptoms of Alzheimer’s, with several more currently being studied.
How Science Care Helps
Science Care is at the forefront of assisting medical research science in combating this disease. Researchers are currently working on breaking down barriers which inhibit the penetration of drugs designed to help alleviate brain diseases – thus increasing drug effectiveness. Without the assistance of whole body donation, this type of research would be nearly impossible. Science Care donors have also been instrumental in treatment advancements made by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as assisting with the development of new therapeutic treatments and being involved in brain studies to help determine what causes this disease.
Over the past 30 years, researchers have made amazing progress towards the understanding healthy brain function and what goes wrong in Alzheimer’s disease. We encourage you to get involved and help the Alzheimer’s Association get the word out about the impact of this devastating disease so that we may continue to improve treatments and hopefully soon, find a cure.
For more information about Alzheimer’s Disease, please visit alz.org.
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