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Alzheimer's prevalence could triple by 2050 in the US, researchers say

Aging baby boom generation will be hit with Alzheimer's disease in huge numbers unless preventative measures are taken, researchers say.

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Women suffering from Alzheimer's looks at an old photo. Researchers predict that Alzheimer's cases will triple by 2050 in the US unless preventative measures are taken. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Alzheimer's disease cases could triple in the US by the year 2050 unless preventative measures are taken, researchers claim — a rise they attribute to the aging Baby Boom generation.

The study, published this week in the Neurology journal, calculated the probability of new Alzheimer's cases in the future and came up with some worrisome numbers.

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The researchers estimated there were 6.7 million in the US over the age of 65 with Alzheimer's disease-related dementia.

They then extrapolated from these figures that a whopping 13.8 million Americans could suffer from the devastating neurological illness by 2050, with 7.0 percent of the victims over the age of 85.

Co-author Jennifer Weuve told Medical News Today that the worrisome increase was "due to an aging baby boom generation."

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"It will place a huge burden on society, disabling more people who develop the disease, challenging their caregivers, and straining medical and social safety nets," she added, noting that there was an "urgent" need for more research and treatment strategies to fight the Alzheimer's threat.

Alzheimer's isn't just a US concern: the World Health Organization estimates that dementia sufferers will "more than triple by 2050" world-wide, as lifespans continue to expand.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/130207/alzheimers-prevalence-could-triple-1950-the-us-researchers-say