It has long been known that Alzheimer’s contributes to hundreds of thousands of deaths in the U.S. each year, but new research suggests that the condition may cause even more fatalities than previously thought.
According to reports from NBC News, although Alzheimer’s was previously listed as the sixth-leading cause of death in America, new studies suggest it may be the third deadliest condition, following heart disease and cancer. The news source stated that analysis conducted by scientists at Rush University Medical Center and published in the medical journal Neurology reexamined death certificates and found mass misrepresentation concerning individuals’ cause of death. The researchers said that the number of deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease may actually be up to five or six times as high as previously believed.
Bryan James, the study’s leader and an assistant professor in the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center, said such findings give further evidence that Alzheimer’s research should be given more attention and funding on a national and global level.
“Determining the true effects of dementia in this country is important for raising public awareness and identifying research priorities,” James said.
Alzheimer’s has taken the spotlight politically in recent weeks, and was the topic of a Congressional hearing that included statements from a variety of scientists, as well as celebrities such as Seth Rogen. The actor, known for roles in a variety of popular films, spoke about his family’s challenges dealing with his mother-in-law’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. Rogen represented thousands of other individuals in a similar position when he spoke up about the need to increase funding to develop effective treatments for the disease, which is currently irreversible.
“Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’ Rogen stated. “And although a whisper is better than the silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
Source: Julia Little http://www.sunriseseniorliving.com/blog/march-2014/new-studies-suggest-alzheimers-deadlier-than-ever.aspx