Alzheimer's Treatment Costs Are Rising, As Are Associated Deaths, But Why?

22 March, 2018, 01:22 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • Cost-of-care-for-Alzheimer’s-will-increase

The cost of caring for Americans with Alzheimer's will rise by $20 billion this year, compared with 2017 spending.

Every 65 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimer's disease, according to a recent study by the Alzheimer's Association. "Because of this, we continue to see the growing financial, physical and emotional toll Alzheimer's has and will continue to have on our nation, our state and our families", said Doug Bickford, Alzheimer's Association Greater Iowa Chapter executive director.

"But if that offers solutions, the question becomes to you give people drugs for Alzheimer's disease who have no current symptoms, how do you identify those people through testing and ultimately how does that impact the growth of the disease".

At the same time, the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer's has declined in terms of expectations.There are currently 850,000 cases of Alzheimer's in Canada, and that was expected to double by 2030, but now that projection has reduced from 1.5 million to 1.2 million. Seventy percent of the total lifetime cost it takes to care for Alzheimer's patients is borne by families. About 5.7 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease - 5.5 million of them aged 65 and older. An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's. For context the number of deaths from heart disease - the number one killer in America - decreased 11 percent. "Soaring prevalence, rising mortality rates and lack of an effective treatment all lead to enormous costs to society". Alzheimer's disease also denoted to be the sixth leading cause of deaths in the U.S which needs to gets restricted anyhow.

The diagnosis cases are such strong that in every 65 seconds, some in the US gets diagnosed with Alzheimer's dementia. Out of that figure, $140 billion is paid by Medicare, $47 billion is paid by Medicaid, and $60 billion are out-of-pocket costs.

Today, Alzheimer's is recognized as the 6th biggest cause of death among Americans.


About one in three caregivers (34 percent) is age 65 or older.

During the preclinical stage of the disease, people seem to be symptom-free but toxic changes are taking place in the brain.

While researchers have long known that tau levels are elevated in the brains and cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer's patients, "until this study, we didn't know if tau production was increased or if clearance was decreased", coauthor Chihiro Sato, a researcher in neurologist Randall Bateman's lab at Washington University School of Medicine, says in a statement.

In addition, costs are lower once a person with Alzheimer's gets on the right care path.

As much as $7.9 trillion in health and long-term care expenditures could be saved, however, if Alzheimer's were diagnosed early, when cognitive impairment is considered mild, according to an accompanying special report using economic modeling data.

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