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Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

AD is a disease that predominantly afflicts those over the age of 50, although most do not have symptoms that are severe enough to cause concern until after the age of 65. In 1900, the average life expectancy was 47 years, so AD occurred rarely. Since then, life expectancy in the United States has increased to 77.9 years driving up the incidence of Alzheimer's disease. AD is now a major economic health care problem and is the most common neurodegenerative disease of the aging.

Key Numbers About AD (Based on 2010 data):

  • 5.3 million people have Alzheimer's disease in the United States
  • 172 billion dollars in annual cost in the United States
  • 10.9 million unpaid caregivers in the United States
  • 6th leading cause of death in the United States
  • 4th leading cause of death in Orange County

Methods of prevention and treatment have been identified in recent research trials that might significantly delay both the onset of symptoms and AD progression. Early assessment helps reassure healthy aging persons, or detect a problem in its earliest and most treatable stage. Benefits of early detection include forestalling progression of cognitive disorders to maintain quality of life, reduce or eliminate institutionalization, and reduce related health care costs.

Learn more about Alzheimer's Disease at the Orange County Vital Brain Aging Program website.