In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. During that time, less than 2 million Americans had Alzheimer’s; today, close to 5.4 million people live with the disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Alzheimer’s is accountable for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases, which affect memory, thinking, and behavior. While development of the disease is generally slow, symptoms progress and worsen over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily life. In its beginning stages, memory loss is mild, but in late-stage Alzheimer’s, individuals can no longer carry on conversations or respond to their environment. The average life expectancy upon diagnosis is eight years; however, survival ranges from four to 20 years with consideration of age and health status.
Although the number one risk factor for Alzheimer’s is increasing age, the disease is not a normal part of aging. The majority of people with Alzheimer’s are 65 and older, but up to 5 percent of afflicted people experience early onset Alzheimer’s in their 40s and 50s.
There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, but research continues. There are treatments that can temporarily slow the worsening of dementia symptoms and improve quality of life for those with Alzheimer’s, but they cannot stop the disease from progressing. Worldwide efforts are in motion to uncover improvements in treating the disease, suspending its onset, and prevent it from developing.
Nekdoodle® is giving you the opportunity to get involved this month to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease. For every Solid Purple and Purple Plumeria Flower Nekdoodle® sold, 10% of the sale will benefit the Alzheimer’s Association®.
The mission of the Alzheimer’s Association® is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.
To learn more about the Alzheimer’s Association® and their incredible movement, or to become further involved in your community, visit http://www.alz.org.