Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Serena Gordon reports that new report finds that one in every three seniors now dies while suffering from Alzheimer's or another form of dementia. Even more concerning is that the Alzheimer's Association estimates that by 2050, nearly 14 million people will have Alzheimer's disease up from 5 million today. "Alzheimer's disease is a public health crisis that is here," says Beth Kallmyer. "One in three seniors is dying with Alzheimer's or another dementia. For other major diseases, the death rate is going down because the federal government funds and invests in research. We have not seen that same commitment for Alzheimer's disease." The US government currently funds about $500 million in Alzheimer's research, according to Kallmyer. In comparison, heart disease receives about $4 billion in research funding and cancer gets about $6 billion (PDF). Dr. Brian Appleby says while current treatments won't cure or reverse the disease, they can increase the amount of time until someone needs nursing home care. Right now, he says, the focus is on trying to prevent Alzheimer's disease from occurring. Alzheimer's disease is really a chronic illness. It starts decades before we see the symptoms," Appleby says. The best advice to potentially prevent Alzheimer's disease is to keep your heart healthy. That means quitting smoking, eating healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and getting regular exercise. It also means staying active mentally, Appleby added."
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