How Does Alzheimer's Disease Affect Society

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PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS AND THE COST ON THE PERSON AND SOCIETY Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a looming public health crisis. It is estimated that 2.4 million to 5.1 million people in the United States may have AD ( Alzheimer’s disease is an age-related brain disorder, affecting people age 60 and older and in rare cases even people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. AD is a type of dementia, a condition that damages brain cells or neurons and impairs brain function over time, leading to a person’s inability to remember, think, learn, and do even the most simplest tasks. In AD, healthy neurons lose their ability to function and communicate with other neurons, and then these…show more content…
As cognition worsens, patients start to experience personality and behavioral changes. In the final stages of AD, patients lose their ability to recognize family and friends and the ability to care for themselves. In the US and around the world, the impact of AD on personal and societal costs is enormous. Family members of AD patients often experience physical, emotional, and financial stress as they see their loved ones become forgetful, confused, and lost during the course of the disease. Families also struggle to provide care at home but often face difficult decisions of transitioning their loved ones to assisted living facilities and nursing homes. THE NEED FOR BIOMARKERS: Research in 2013 suggests that cellular changes associated with AD begin years and even decades before patients first show clinical symptoms of memory loss or cognitive problems. Therefore there is a need to find biomarkers, which are specific proteins found in the blood or the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) or a particular image of brain structure and function. Biomarkers allow researchers and clinicians to be able to measure the risk for AD in people even if they are symptom-free. Biomarkers are important in tracking the onset and progression of the disease and may help evaluate the effectiveness of promising

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