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World Alzheimer’s Day (9/21) Question: Why is Alzheimer’s disease a pressing health concern today – especially during a global health pandemic?

Alzheimer’s disease is the only top 10 leading causes of death in the US without an effective treatment, and we are just starting to see the first wave of baby boomers enter the vulnerable age range.  We have already seen more young-onset Alzheimer’s disease as the baby boomers move through their 50s, and we don’t really have a clear strategy to prevent, treat, or help people with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

During the pandemic, it was found that people with Alzheimer’s disease fared worse than those without Alzheimer’s disease.  We don’t know why, and it may have to do with abnormal inflammation or clotting in the brain of people with clinically silent Alzheimer’s disease.  We have a number of studies on these two topics, and it is important that we move quickly because COVID-19 seems to be sticking around.