About six million Americans have dementia, and that number is expected to double in the next 40 years, according to new research that highlights the need for interventions to slow the progression of degenerative brain disease.
There is no cure although some medications can help with memory loss and management strategies can improve symptoms. Alzheimer's is defined by the accumulation of specific proteins in the brain, obstructing neural pathways and destroying a person's ability to function.
It is the third cause of death among the elderly, according to statistics from the National Institute on Aging.  The latest study was conducted by researchers at the University of California in Los Angeles and is the first to evaluate people with biomarkers or other evidence of preclinical Alzheimer's, according to a statement from the National Institute of Health, which funded the project.  At least 15 million people are expected to have Alzheimer's or mild cognitive impairment by 2060, with close to 4 million people requiring intensive care, such as living in a nursing home.
The study's lead author, Dr. Ron Brookmeyer, said in a statement that approximately 47 million people in the US UU Today they have some evidence of preclinical Alzheimer's but they do not have symptoms, with the determination that is made when finding an accumulation of beta-amyloid pr otein in the brain.
"Many of them will not progress to Alzheimer's dementia in their lives," he continued. "We need to have improved methods to identify which people will progress to clinical symptoms, and develop interventions for them that could slow the progression of the disease, if not stop it altogether."
The study, entitled "Predicting prevalence." of preclinical and clinical Alzheimer's disease in the United States, "was published Thursday in the journal Alzheimer & # 39; s and Dementia.
An increase in patients with dementia will add a significant burden on different sectors of society. an unrelated survey conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California found that one in six millennials – young adults born between 1980 and 1998 – cares for a person with Alzheimer's.
33 percent of respondents said that his duties as caregiver impact his work, and 14 percent leaving the job altogether, the researchers raise the alarm that not finding solutions for care will limit the participation of young people in the work force, and will create a greater emotional load