7 Reasons to Have Hope in Finding a Cure for Alzheimer's
With more than 5 million Americans alone living with Alzheimer’s disease, it is no wonder why the thought of it makes people so uneasy. It is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, placing it above diabetes, kidney disease, and even suicide. Some researchers hypothesize that as many as 16 million people will be diagnosed with the disease by 2050.
In the year of 2016 alone, Alzheimer’s and other related diseases (like types of dementia), cost Americans about $236 billion. As mind-blowing as that number is, the real immeasurable cost is the financial, emotional, and physical costs.
While the public knows that Alzheimer’s is expensive and deadly, there is not much else that is known. Research on Alzheimer’s tends to create more questions than answers. Some questions that still need to be answered are “What causes the disease's progression?”, “Which treatments are the most effective?” and “What can be done to help affected families?”
While all of this information is overwhelming and not very positive, it is easy to feel hopeless and unsure. However, there are many reasons to feel a little bit more hopeful for the future of the disease.
1. Awareness for Alzheimer's has increased
Because of such an increase in its diagnosis, Alzheimer’s has become essentially impossible to ignore. While it is heartbreaking that Alzheimer’s negatively affects so many people, this has caused a larger understanding around the disease, which is necessary to find a cure.
The awareness around Alzheimer’s can be seen in many avenues. November is an important month for Alzheimer’s awareness, as it is officially Alzheimer’s Awareness Month as well as National Caregivers Month. Important organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association exhibit the latest in Alzheimer’s-related research, funding, and action as well.
Important individuals in the limelight also bring important attention to the cause. For example, celebrities like B. Smith and her husband Dan Gasby became vocal advocates in 2016 for increased research and treatments. They did this by using their celebrity status to share B. Smith’s story of her early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis a few years prior. Other beloved celebrities, like Gene Wilder, serve as important reminders of the necessity of finding a cure for Alzheimer’s.
Read on to learn why there is more hope for Alzheimer's disease than ever before.