Estimate Of Worldwide Prevalence Of Alzheimer's Disease Is 26.6 Million

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2007-06-11 03:35

The latest worldwide estimate of Alzheimer's disease prevalence shows that 26.6 million people were living with the disease in 2006.

The researchers predict that global prevalence of Alzheimer's will quadruple by 2050 to more than 100 million, at which time 1 in 85 persons worldwide will be living with the disease. More than 40 percent of those cases will be in late stage Alzheimer's requiring a high level of attention equivalent to nursing home care.

"The number of people affected by Alzheimer's disease is growing at an alarming rate, and the increasing financial and personal costs will have a devastating effect on the world's economies, healthcare systems and families," said William Thies, Ph.D., vice president of Medical and Scientific Relations with the Alzheimer's Association. "We must make the fight against Alzheimer's a national priority before it's too late. The absence of effective disease modifying drugs, coupled with an aging population, makes Alzheimer's the healthcare crisis of the 21st century."

"However there is hope. There are several drugs in Phase III clinical trials for Alzheimer's that show great promise to slow or stop the progression of the disease. This, combined with advancements in diagnostic tools, has the potential to change the landscape of Alzheimer's, but we need more funding for research to make this happen," Thies said.

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