Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

Is Alzheimer's Disease On The Rise?

Alzheimer's Disease

The number of Alzheimer's patients may be increasing. Studies suggest that the number of people living with this serious brain disease will increase dramatically over the next several decades. In fact, a research study at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health believes that the number of Alzheimer's patients will triple by 2050...yes, triple. These startling predictions show that it is more important than ever to learn about the disease and focus on prevention.

What exactly is Alzheimer's disease? It is a degenerative brain that impacts the way patients are able to process and understand information. This type of brain disease is progressive, which means that the brain tissue begins to worsen over time. This can affect the memory and general behaviours of a patient. As the disease continues, patients lose the ability to perform basic daily tasks and deal with severe disorientation. This is a truly devastating disease for both patients and their families to cope with.

Alzheimer's disease most commonly affects men and women over the age of 65. It is estimated that nearly 36 million people are living with the disease worldwide, with over 5 million patients living in the United States alone. This disease is currently the sixth highest cause of death in the United States and the fifth highest cause of death for men and women over the age of 65. Sadly, there is not yet a cure for Alzheimer's.

Why is it that researchers believe Alzheimer's disease will triple by the year 2050? Lifestyle factors and an aging population are to blame. Those involved in the study at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimate that the number of people living with Alzheimer's disease will grow to more than 106 million people by 2050 - and 1 in every 85 people will suffer from the disease. Even further, they believe that nearly half of those people will require high levels of medical care, like nursing homes and other care facilities. With these predictions, it is no wonder that Alzheimer's disease is being called a 'global epidemic.'

The predicted increase in Alzheimer's patients may be linked to poor lifestyle and diet as well as improved diagnosis of the disease. Whatever the case, more cases of Alzheimer's disease may put a strain on medical care in the coming years. However, it won't just be care facilities that are affected. Patients with Alzheimer's disease must spend money on in-home caregivers or care facility costs. It is estimated that Alzheimer's patients spend more than triple the amount of money on care than senior citizens without the disease.

There are a number of lifestyle factors that may increase the risk of developing the disease and may contribute to the increasing number of Alzheimer's patients. These factors include an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise, which can lead to serious medical issues that have been linked to degenerative brain diseases. In light of this, medical professionals feel it is important to focus on preventative measures such as healthy diet and proper mental and physical exercise. Simple changes to lifestyle may slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and may even help to prevent development of the disease altogether.

With Alzheimer's disease on the rise, prevention is key. By incorporating simple lifestyle changes into every day life, the chances of developing dementia related disease like Alzheimer's might be reduced. Don't become part of the statistic. Start taking preventative measures now to reduce your risk of living with Alzheimer's disease in the future.

Are you looking for more information about Alzheimer's disease? Contact the Age Matters Clinic at: 647-268-0620. We understand how to improve the life of Alzheimer's and memory loss patients.