Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is a scourge upon the world. In the U.S. alone, Alzheimer’s (AD) affects 5 million people. When considering that AD is only one of several important dementias and that dementia is vastly underdiagnosed, the actual numbers are likely twice as high. When you then add in those with pre-clinical dementia or Mild Cognitive Impairment, a total exceeding 15 million Americans is not out of the question.
Dementia is a growth industry. As the population ages and as the Baby Boomers and Generation X individuals reach prime dementia age over 70, these numbers will mushroom. The economic burden on society, through the cost of the disease, associated medical problems, caregiving costs and lost productivity is astounding. But you already know this. It is part of every talk at every conference about dementia that you attend and part of the fundraising and consciousness raising efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.