Unless something is done to slow down the symptoms of, or cure, Alzheimer's, the cost to the U.S. economy to treat those with the disease will rise to $1.1 trillion by 2050, with $589 billion being left to Medicare to cover, according to a CNBC.com report.
Citing statistics from the Alzheimer's Association, 5.3 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's, bringing the total cost to the U.S. economy of caring for those with it to $226 billion, according to the article. Half of that falls on Medicare.
"Delaying the onset of the disease by just five years, research studies show, could decrease Medicare spending by 50 percent," the media outlet reported.
"We've made a lot of progress in therapies around heart disease, cancer and stroke, and we need to move faster in Alzheimer's research," said Dr. Bruce Miller, director of the Memory and Aging Center at the University of California, San Francisco, according to the article. "If we can't find better therapies for an aging brain, as a society we will dramatically suffer."