6 Things We Learned During World Alzheimer's Month

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Throughout September patients, advocates and organizations across the globe tirelessly raised awareness about Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Today, I share with you some notable facts about Alzheimer's disease and its national, global and generational toll.

The numbers are staggering.

Alzheimer's disease is both the 6th most common cause of death in the United States and the only common cause of death without a known cure or method to delay its progression.

It afflicts our seniors and women at an unbelievable rate.

1 in 3 American seniors dies due to Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Women face even greater risk: They comprise two-thirds of today's Alzheimer's patients.

Alzheimer's disease occurs in young people, too.

While many associate Alzheimer's with elderly people, early onset dementia also presents itself in people aged 40-50. In some cases, doctors have encountered cases in patients as young as 30.

It doesn't just affect the patient.

Friends and family provide the majority of care for someone with Alzheimer's. In fact, family members provide 85% of unpaid help for older adults in the U.S. The resulting physical, mental and financial burden placed on caregivers often becomes unsustainable.

It's not the only form of the condition.

Generally, the term dementia refers to a decline in mental capabilities to the extent that it affects a person's daily life. Alzheimer's, the most common type of dementia, accounts for 60-80% of cases. However, other types of dementia exist, such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, vascular dementia and Lewy body dementia.

It's a global concern.

Nearly 47 million people around the world live with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In fact, doctors diagnose more than 7 million new cases every year. Without options to treat or cure the disease, this number will continue to climb.

Doctors and researchers work tirelessly to solve the global, rapidly growing state of Alzheimer's disease. In the absence of a permanent cure, the search continues in the hope that we can one day eradicate the condition that steals precious years and memories from our loved ones. Because of the wonderful advancements made in medicine, we remain optimistic of this day's rapid approach. In the meantime, you can support your loved ones by staying informed, joining the discussion around the disease and being aware as new treatments emerge. Find useful facts, resources and learn more in our vision for Alzheimer's disease prevention.