Home Products Most Popular Contact
No items in your cart.
The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Alzheimer's Biomarkers: Overview of existing and future biomarkers. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

Learn more about Alzheimer's Biomarkers: Overview of existing and future biomarkers (online CE course) »
How to Subscribe
MLS & MLT Comprehensive CE Package
Includes 129 CE courses, most popular
$95 Add to cart
Pick Your Courses
Up to 8 CE hours
$50 Add to cart
Individual course$20 Add to cart

Definition, Facts, and Statistics

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. Dementia is considered a disorder of the brain which affects an individual’s ability to perform daily activities. AD is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer who in 1906 noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who had died of an unusual mental illness. Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. After the patient died, Dr. Alzheimer examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps which we now call amyloid plaques and tangled bundles of fibers, now termed neurofibrillary, or tau tangles. These plaques and tangles in the brain are still considered important features of Alzheimer’s disease. (More discussion on these plaques and tangles are presented later in this course).
AD is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. It eventually destroys the ability to perform the simplest of tasks. The first symptoms of AD typically appear in an individual’s mid-60s.
Although brain damage in AD is the main reason for the patient's decline and incapacitation, it is secondary illnesses and other conditions that are ultimately responsible for causing the patient's decline and death. In the final stages of AD, patients are not able to perform tasks necessary to keep the body alive and functioning. Neurologic damage and muscle weakness typically cause patients to lose the ability to coordinate such basic tasks as walking. Moreover, patients lose bladder and bowel control and have difficulty chewing and swallowing food. In fact, pneumonia is considered the most common cause of death in AD patients because of the impariment in swallowing food or beverage which can enter the lungs and cause infection. Other common causes of death include dehydration, malnutrition, falls and other infections.
There are 5.8 million Americans now living with AD in the U.S. and this number is expected to rise significantly in the future. AD is now considered the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. Between 2000 and 2017, deaths from AD have increased 145%. It is estimated that every 65 seconds someone in the U.S. develops the disease. The Alzheimer’s Organization estimates that approximately 5.6 million people age 65 or older and approximately 200,00 individuals under age of 65 have some form of AD. One in 10 people age 65 or older has AD and almost two-thirds of Alzheimer’s patients in U.S. are women. Moreover, older African-Americans are about twice as likely as older whites to have AD or other dementias.
The costs of healthcare and long-term care for individuals with AD or other dementias are considerable with an estimated 2019 cost for AD in the U.S. to be approximately $290 billion. By 2050, the cost of AD is projected to be more than $1.1 trillion.