It is estimated that every 68 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease. On Sunday, World Alzheimer’s Day will be observed across the globe by runs, walks and various events to raise awareness of this disease, the people suffering from it and the family caregivers who share the burden.
It is estimated that by 2050, as many as 16 million Americans will have this devastating—and costly—disease. One of the 10 leading causes of death, Alzheimer’s is the only one that cannot be prevented or cured. Alzheimer’s is not just a disease of old people. Early onset of the disease can manifest itself in middle age.
“Americans, as families and taxpayers, currently spend more than $200 billion annually for the costs of Alzheimer’s,” George Vradenburg, founder of USAgainstAlzheimer’s, said in a release.
To meet the challenges of Alzheimer’s now and in the future, Vradenburg calls for global mobilization to assault this disease, comparing it with past attacks on polio and HIV/AIDS. “We need common global goals, a set of international norms and international collaboration that creates a stable and sustained international commitment to Alzheimer’s research, drug discovery and care delivery, including a worldwide increased enrollment in Alzheimer’s clinical trials,” Vradenburg advises.
“Without global mobilization, we won’t stand a chance against this disease, and hundreds of millions of families around the world will suffer the consequences for decades,” warns Vradenburg, adding, “We need leadership to bring us all together with vision, resolve and hope.”