Every 67 Seconds Someone Develops Alzheimer's

AROUND ARKANSAS -- Every 67 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and kills more than breast and prostate cancer combined.

5 million Americans are currently battling the disease and, according to the Alzheimer's Association, 16 million will be fighting it by 2050.

The number of people affected by Alzheimer's is staggering and the financial toll behind those figures is also on the rise. Alzheimer's advocate Christian Baldwin explains in this year alone, it is estimated Medicare and Medicaid will spend $150-billion on Alzheimer's and other related dementia in terms of care and caregiver support.

While we often hear of elderly folks being diagnosed, the disease does not discriminate.

"There's a common misconception that only the real elderly get Alzheimer's and that's not the case. My mom was diagnosed in her early 50s and we see cases a lot more frequently now of younger and younger members of our families in society that are having these problems," said Baldwin.

Currently, advocates are working on the Hope for Alzheimer's Act. The legislation would provide support not only for physicians and the caregiver community to work on earlier diagnosis, but it would also provide resources that families need.

There are several ways to show your support for Alzheimer's awareness. You can call your congressman, donate funding, sign up as an advocate and contact the Alzheimer's Association for more information.

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