“Alzheimer’s: Can Exercise Be of Benefit ?”
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects 5.2 million Americans at present and will inflict 14 million by 2050. If 70-year-olds have dementia, 61 percent are expected to die before their eightieth birthday; whereas, deaths will occur in only 30 percent who don’t have Alzheimer’s. According to the CDC, nearly 85,000 people died from Alzheimer’s in 2011, which makes Alzheimer’s the sixth leading cause of death. Shockingly, 1 in 3 seniors dies with (not necessarily from) Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. AD dramatically affects family caregivers who live and care for 70% of the AD patients. In 2012, 15.4 million American caregivers provided 17.5 billion hr of unpaid care, which amounted to $216 billion; they also experienced new diseases and exacerbation of existing diseases due to caregiving, which reached another $9.1 billion. The core symptoms of AD include cognitive (thinking) impairment in at least two cognitive domains, decline in the ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs), and manifestation of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD), which are collectively known as the AD triad.