A new report that appears in the journal Neurology states that the number of Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s could triple by the year 2050. Early onset Alzheimer’s was recently added to the Social Security’s list of compassionate allowances meaning those individuals diagnosed as having early onset Alzheimer’s are now eligible to receive social security disability benefits.
Currently, individuals diagnosed as having dementia or Alzheimer’s are not eligible to receive SSD benefits. That may change, however, if the numbers of Americans suffering from the debilitating mental disease continue to sharply increase as expected.
A bewildering and crippling disease, so far medical researchers have failed to pinpoint the exact cause of Alzheimer’s. They also, unfortunately, have been unable to develop a cure or even establish effective treatment plans for those suffering from the disease.
Growing concern over the number of Americans currently and projected to suffer from Alzheimer’s has prompted action from the Obama administration which recently approved funding to establish the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. The goal of the newly established government-supported agency is to not only attempt to find a cure for the disease, but also provide additional training and support to both health care providers and family members on how to care for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Currently medical professionals believe that staying active both mentally and physically can help ward off whatever may lead Alzheimer’s to develop. They also believe that an individual’s diet is a factor and advise Americans, particularly those over the age of 50, to stick to what’s known as a Mediterranean diet.
Source: U.S. News and World Report, “Number of Americans With Alzheimer’s May Triple by 2050,” Feb. 6, 2013