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AAIC Press Release

<< See all 2015 AAIC Press Releases

Alzheimer’s Association AAIC newsroom, 202-249-4002,
Niles Frantz, Alzheimer’s Association, 312-363-8782,

To download the complete news release and related abstracts, click here.


Urgent Need for Investment in Treatments That Delay or Prevent the Disease. New Findings Reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2015.

WASHINGTON, DC, July 20, 2015 – More than 28 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer’s disease between now and midcentury, and the cost of caring for them will consume nearly 25 percent of Medicare spending in 2040, according to new research reported today at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2015 (AAIC® 2015) in Washington, D.C.

As the baby boomers with Alzheimer’s age, there will be a shift toward more severe forms of the disease, leading to greater Medicare costs. In 2020, the projected Medicare costs of caring for baby boomers with Alzheimer’s in the community ($11.86 billion, in 2014 dollars) will be 2.1% of total Medicare spending. By 2040, when the baby boom generation is aged 76-94, the projected Medicare costs ($328.15 billion, in 2014 dollars) increase to 24.2% of total Medicare spending, according to the new analysis.

“The risk of Alzheimer’s increases with age, and as baby boomers get older, the number of people developing the disease will rise to levels far beyond anything we’ve ever seen before,” said Maria Carrillo, PhD, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Science Officer. “Fortunately, there is a pipeline of experimental therapies that have the potential to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and perhaps even prevent the disease. Updates on the status of several of these drugs will be described this week at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Washington, D.C.”

“However, public funding for this research is extremely limited compared to the magnitude of the problem. If we’re going to change the current trajectory of the disease, we need consistent and meaningful investments in research from the federal government to ensure a more robust pipeline,” Carrillo said. “Where we’ve made significant commitments – heart disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS – we’ve generated effective treatments and prevention strategies, and reduced death rates. Now is the time to do the same for Alzheimer’s disease.”

An Alzheimer’s Association report released this year, Changing the Trajectory of Alzheimer’s Disease: How a Treatment by 2025 Saves Lives and Dollars, shows that the economic and health care burden we face over next two decades could be greatly mitigated if a treatment that delays the onset of Alzheimer’s by five years is introduced by 2025. According to the report, a treatment that delays disease onset could save $220 billion within the first five years of its introduction. It would also cut the number of people who have the disease in 2050 by 42% – from 13.5 million to 7.8 million.

Baby Boomer Alzheimer’s Numbers and Costs to Skyrocket in the Next 20 Years

At AAIC 2015, Lisa Alecxih and colleagues from The Lewin Group, Falls Church, VA, reported on a model of Alzheimer’s incidence, prevalence and cost that was developed for the Alzheimer’s Association to examine the current and future trajectory and economic impact of the disease.

The research team developed models that chart the trajectory and economic impact of Alzheimer’s based on the rate of new diagnoses, the number of people who will be living with the disease, and the cost of medical and long-term care between 2015 and 2050. They factored in the costs that Medicare pays for beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s, mortality rates and the varying costs of caring for people in different stages of the disease (mild, moderate, severe). Key findings include:

“The findings of this new data analysis make it clear that the increased demand Alzheimer’s will place on the health and social services systems over the next two decades, coupled with the burden on those with the disease and their families, requires additional investment by the federal government,” Alecxih said.

The new data reinforces the value of ensuring strong implementation of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease to achieve its goal of preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer’s by 2025, Alecxih added.

About AAIC

The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) is the world’s largest gathering of leading researchers from around the world focused on Alzheimer’s and other dementias. As a part of the Alzheimer’s Association’s research program, AAIC serves as a catalyst for generating new knowledge about dementia and fostering a vital, collegial research community.
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About the Alzheimer's Association®

The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer's care, support and research. Our mission 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. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit or call 800.272.3900.

To download the complete news release and related abstracts, click here.


<< See all 2015 AAIC Press Releases


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