More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s today, with another person developing the disease every 68 seconds. By 2050, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to triple.
As if those numbers weren’t staggering enough, consider this: Alzheimer’s disease is the only cause of death among the top 10 (it’s currently ranked No. 6) in the United States that can’t be prevented, cured or slowed down.
Ask any expert, and he or she will tell you that early diagnosis is key to helping patients live better day to day, so even though the disease is still progressing, the symptoms are less harsh.
“Our hope is that if we could identify patients who are developing the disease early, it would give us a much better opportunity to intervene with treatments, and it’s much more likely for those treatments to be effective,” says Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.