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Ten Million Baby Boomers Predicted To Be Hit By Alzheimer’s

Posted by Jane Akre
Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:18 AM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, FDA and Prescription Drugs, Toxic Substances, Defective Drugs

Alzheimer's disease is expected to hit 10 million baby boomers.  

LEARN MORE

  • See the Alzheimer’s Association report here
  • Injuryboard on Alzheimer’s disease
  • NIH on DBS here
  • Alzheimer’s Association Brain Tour here
  • Alzheimer’s Association here
  • U. of Calgary video here (view with Quicktime 4.1)

 

IMAGE SOURCE: ©iStockphoto/JJRD 

Baby boomers constitute the largest population demographic ever and as a group have established social trends, advanced scientific inquiry and redefined what we once thought of as old age. 

But boomers, born from 1946 to 1964 may not be able to outreach and outlive Alzheimer’s disease. 

10 million are projected to get Alzheimer’s and its mental and physical irreversible impairment. 

The Alzheimer’s Association issued that report in its second annual statistical look into the future on the CBS Early Show

The report says if women, if they live to age 55, are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease – which may be as much as function as the fact that they outlive men generally.

When you might get it is unknown, men and women are equal in that regard. 

The cause is unknown but increasingly pointing to environmental causes, metals in our environment, particularly mercury  also found in our inoculations and in our air that accumulate over time.

The University of Calgary produced video that shows in time-lapse photography how mercury exposure creates nerve tangles, a marker for Alzheimer’s disease.    

The future is ill equipped to handle these 10 million Americans with the bulk of the burden falling on a loved one or care giver. 

Usually that care lasts for five years or more and that can have a negative effect on the loved one adding to depression. It is also likely to impact a care givers job making it less likely they will be able to work full time or accept a promotion.

On the horizon- medications to fight the buildup of plaque called beta amyloid that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. No one knows if plaque is the cause or the by-product but advanced clinical trials are planned for medications which might provide some much needed answers about the future of Alzheimer’s, and an entire generation.

And recently in Toronto, researchers discovered that deep brain stimulation with an electrical current revived memory in a man from 30 years earlier. A pilot study is now underway on DBS as sort of a pacemaker for the brain to jolt memories long lost.  DBS is already used to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Finding a drug or a device is much more lucrative than finding the source or helping people avoid Alzheimer’s disease which is preferable over medications.

A series of small vascular strokes may contribute to dementia seen in one in 5 Americans over the age of 70, according to researchers at Duke University.

So heart health may be one key to brain health.   

Consuming omega-3 fat DHA from fish can reduce levels of an enzyme linked to Alzheimer’s disease and may slow cognitive decline and protect the heart as does exercise.

Five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease now but the disease can strike people as young as age 30.  By age 65, it’s estimated one in eight will suffer from the disease. Those numbers change to one in two when people reach the age of 85. 

Alzheimer’s disease will overwhelm the nation's Medicare system in less than 25 years unless scientists find a way to prevent or cure the disease.

For the baby boomer generation, this may be one of the biggest challenges yet. # 


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