There are many reasons to continue research into what causes Alzheimer’s and how to prevent it, not least of which is the high cost this cruel disease exacts in financial terms.  Alzheimer’s Disease International, a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom, presented in their 2010 World Alzheimer Report the financial burden placed on society by those suffering with the disease.  The medical costs of care are higher in wealthier countries because more of the care is provided by healthcare professionals.  In developing countries the cost is much lower, not due to lack of care, but because the care is provided at home by family members and not by professionals.  The time expended is still very high and poses a burden to families.

The report indicated that the costs of dementia will rise significantly.  Alzheimer’s Disease International recommends that cost effective medical and social strategies need to be developed to assist the families and the individuals affected throughout the course of the illness.  Additionally, evidence-based prevention strategies need to be developed and implemented.  Tests can provide information about individuals’ risks of contracting the disease but the financial burden isn’t lessened by early detection. 

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