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Texas Matters: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's.

This number includes an estimated 5.5 million people age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65 who have early-onset Alzheimer's. One in 10 people age 65 and older has Alzheimer's dementia.

As the number of older Americans grows rapidly, so too will the number of new and existing cases of Alzheimer’s.

Today someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s every minute. But in about 30 years, someone in the U.S. will develop the disease every 30 seconds.

Currently, Alzheimer’s is not preventable and not treatable, and it is fatal.

In 2018, the direct costs for caring for those with Alzheimer’s was an estimated $227 billion. By 2050, it’s projected to cost more than a trillion dollars.

And Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll on caregivers.

However, there is incredible research now underway to find ways to early identify, treat and prevent Alzheimer’s.

This week, the leading national and international Alzheimer’s researchers gathered in San Antonio to discuss the latest developments in fighting the brain-stealing disorder.

Texas Public Radio was invited to take part in leading a public conversation by the UT Health San Antonio’s Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Alzheimer’s Association as they kicked off the inaugural South Texas Alzheimer’s Conference.

The panel included:
Dr. Maria Carrillo, the Alzheimer’s Association
Dr. Gladys Maestre, the Memory Disorders Center, UT Rio Grande Valley
Dr. Kenneth Kosik, UC Santa Barbara
Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas, Columbia University
Dr. Alan Peterson, UT Health San Antonio, Operation Strong Star
Dr. Robert Gracy, President Emeritus, Texas Biomedical Research Institute
Dr. Mary Ganguli, University of Pittsburgh
Dr. Lisa Shulman, University of Maryland

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi