Alzheimer’s disease, the most prevalent type of dementia, was first identified more than 100 years ago, but research into its symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment has gained momentum only in the last 30 years. Research has revealed a great deal about Alzheimer’s, however, the precise changes in the brain that trigger the development of Alzheimer’s, and the order in which they occur, largely remain unknown.

If you are living with a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia, or are a caregiver supporting someone with a diagnosis, please know that you are not alone. An estimated 5.2 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s in 2013. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the country. One in nine people age 65 and older (11 percent), and about one-third of people age 85 and older (32 percent) have Alzheimer’s disease. In Michigan alone, there are approximately 180,000 individuals living with a diagnosis. Nationwide, an estimated 15,410,000 family members and friends provide care for those affected by the disease. The cost of caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias is estimated to total $203 billion in 2013, increasing to $1.2 trillion (in today’s dollars) by mid-century.

You can help to support the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Show your support by celebrating World Alzheimer’s Day on Saturday, September 21st! Wear purple, share your story with another person, and help to reduce the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures