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The Alzheimer’s Disease Crisis

Nearly 6 million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia in older adults. As the population of older Americans continues to grow, the number of people at risk for Alzheimer’s grows as well. In the absence of effective disease-altering therapies, as many as 14 million Americans will face the disease by the year 2050.

Florida has the highest percentage of elderly residents in the United States, so it is not surprising that over half a million Floridians today are living with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, Florida has the 3rd highest number of deaths from Alzheimer’s disease in the entire country.

The risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease differs across US ethnic groups, with older African Americans being at greatest risk. While Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death among older Americans in the general population, it is the 4th leading cause of death among older African Americans.

The Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) is dedicated to ensuring that African Americans are included in new discoveries as we seek to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, our ability to detect early disease, and the development of therapies to delay, prevent, and ultimately cure Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and AD-related dementia.

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