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NIH forecasts approximately 6 million American with Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment

Monday, December 11, 2017, 12:00 Hrs  [IST]

Using new methodology, scientists calculate that approximately 6 million American adults have Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment, which can sometimes be a precursor to the disease. The estimate, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), also forecasts that these numbers will more than double to 15 million by 2060, as the population ages.

The estimates are published online December 7, 2017, in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.

This new forecast differs from earlier estimates. For the first time, scientists have attempted to account for numbers of people with biomarkers or other evidence of possible preclinical Alzheimer’s disease, but who do not have impairment or Alzheimer’s dementia. People with such signs of preclinical disease are at increased risk to develop Alzheimer’s dementia. The researchers say they factored those rates of transition in their multi-state model; further, the model can estimate the impact of some possible prevention efforts on the number of future cases.

Dr. Dallas Anderson, Program Director, Population Studies, Dementias of Aging Branch, Division of Neuroscience, NIA; Dr. Eliezer Masliah, Director of the Division of Neuroscience, NIA, are available to discuss the findings.


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