A new study suggests that the numbers for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in America will triple over the next 40 years.
In 2010, 4.7 million people had the disease. By 2050, researchers predict that number will grow to 13.8 million, MyHealthNews reports.
The study’s co-author, assistant professor of medicine at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center Jennifer Weuve, says baby boomers have a lot to do with the results of the research.
"It will place a huge burden on society, disabling more people who develop the disease, challenging their caregivers and straining medical and social safety nets," she said.
Weuve added, “Our study draws attention to an urgent need for more research, treatments and preventive strategies to reduce this epidemic."
According to the Cleveland Clinic, Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the abnormal build-up of proteins in the brain.
The Clinic notes that nearly half of people older than 85 have Alzheimer’s disease. But there are preventative measures that an individual can take that include mental activity, education, physical activity and the Mediterranean diet or another healthy diet that includes antioxidants.
The study was published this month in the journal Neurology.