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Why is Alzheimer's disease research important?

Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine
The number of people who will develop Alzheimer's disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years. Seventy-nine million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds. That is more than four million per year.

If scientists could delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease by five years via better drugs, the United States could keep fewer Alzheimer's patients from needing nursing homes. For every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer's research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year. At that rate, by 2020, the cumulative total will be $172 billion a year, or $20 trillion by 2050.

Alzheimer's is sneaking up on us, and when it does strike a loved one it becomes a crisis situation that affects everyone around. We need more funding. We need as a society to want to learn more about aging so that we can prepare for it.

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