For a long time I've thought we could use a #Kony2012 of Alzheimer's Disease. Something shockworthy. It's difficult to grasp a phenomenon as intangible as dementia—this I acknowledge. But try telling that to a family that has been struck by the disease. Things get very real, very quickly.
There's no way around it. Alzheimer's is an epidemic. And until this fact is widely accepted, we won't rally around the disease with the urgency it deserves.
According to a study from Rush University Medical Center in March, the number of deaths attributable to the disease had been vastly undercalculated. The research showed that Alzheimer’s was the underlying cause in 500,000 deaths in the United States in 2010, a figure close to six times the estimate from the Centers for Disease Control. This means that in a single year, Alzheimer’s claimed nearly as many lives as AIDS — responsible for 636,000 deaths in this country — had taken in more than three decades.