A new forecast has health officials rattled. A new projection shows that near 50 million Americans are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Worse more, 6 million already are likely to have it. This per research made public from the University of California Los Angeles. The data is exposing exactly how bad the coming years will be for many Americans, including the families of those who are likely to be affected by the degenerative brain disorder.
“To our knowledge, this is the first time someone has done this type of estimate,” said Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association told NBC News.
Various data from Alzheimer’s disease was collected and used in a new study as a way to make the latest projections. Measures taken regarding the buildup of a protein in the brain called amyloid was used in combination with writing and reading skills to help frame the research.
“We predict by 2060, U.S. prevalence of clinical Alzheimer’s disease will grow to 9.3 million.”
They used other studies including a look at 1,500 volunteers who live around the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, which included healthy people who have no particular risk of Alzheimer’s. They used studies of people with mild cognitive impairment — memory loss that can lead to Alzheimer’s — and people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s dementia.
And they looked at actual reports of people who have Alzheimer’s disease now.
Then they made calculations to predict how many people are likely progressing to Alzheimer’s right now, although they may not know it.
“It’s virtually all extrapolation. It’s looking at some real community-based cohorts that have been studies,” said Fargo.
For many families, Alzheimer’s is nothing short of a tragedy. Family members are left as caretakers, or reliant on nursing homes that are often times plagued with overmedication issues and abuse.