Alzheimer’s Disease is often seen as an illness which robs sufferers of their most precious memories, sometimes to the point where those with Alzheimer’s don’t even remember who their loved ones are.
But Alzheimer’s Disease does more than attack attack people’s minds; it is also a fatal illness.
As reported recently by NPR.org, recent statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association found that the illness is now the sixth most-common cause of death in the United States, with a jump of 68 per cent from 2000 to 2010.
According to Dr. Maria Carrillo, a neuroscientist with the Alzheimer’s Association, an aging population is the prime cause for the growing number of deaths from Alzheimer’s.
“We’re living longer,” Dr. Carrillo told NPR.org. “And unfortunately age is still the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease.”
Another health expert, professor Susan Mitchell of Harvard University, told the news source that the deaths from dementia and Alzheimer’s are probably significantly higher than current estimates, in part because many Alzheimer’s sufferers also have other illnesses, and those are often listed as the cause of death.
There are an estimated five million Americans with Alzheimer’s Disease today, and that number is expected to grow to almost 14 million people by the year 2050.