The “Soul-destroying” Disease That Costs $226 billion a Year

Here are some startling statistics for you to think about: Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Today, more than 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and millions more will be diagnosed in the years to come. Alzheimer’s kills more than breast and prostate cancers combined. It is the sixth-biggest killer in this country.

Just think about that. But happily, those days could be over before too long…

I’ve discovered a small company with a drug in development that has the potential to do much more than just mask Alzheimer’s symptoms. In fact, it’s being designed to attack the disease at its roots, possibly halting its progression.

That’s great news for anyone affected by Alzheimer’s and also opens up a huge profit opportunity for investors — a chance to make life-changing wealth.

First, though, let me be perfectly clear about why the focus on Alzheimer’s matters…

Of all the achievements humanity has made in modern times, improvement in life expectancy is among the greatest of all.

At the beginning of the 20th century in the United States, a person could expect to live just 47 years. Today, life expectancy is now 79 years — a 68% improvement.

Longer lives didn’t just happen on their own, of course. We identified the biggest causes for an early death and took measures to stop them.

There were public health measures like good sanitation, clean drinking water and improved air quality that cut down on health problems. The discovery of microbes as vectors for disease and the use of antiseptic and sterilization techniques also reduced death rates from the operating table to the maternity ward. Then, with vaccines and antibiotics, many deadly infectious diseases were tamed.

Next, doctors and scientists turned their attention to cardiovascular disease therapies, causing a drop in deaths from heart attacks and strokes. And now newer medicines and treatments are also improving cancer death rates.

But Alzheimer’s disease to this point has remained a big exception to our medical progress. The number of people with Alzheimer’s is growing by double-digit percentages every year. We haven’t even had a way to prevent it before it happens or to slow it down after it does.

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disorder. It causes brain cells to die off. A small amount of memory loss and some occasional confusion are the first signs something is wrong.

But as more and more brain cells die, it becomes much worse. Some describe Alzheimer’s as a soul-destroying disease. Alzheimer’s causes more suffering than other common killers because it robs a person’s memories and, eventually, even their sense of self.

After the age of 65, the odds of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s double every five years. By the age of 85 — an age many Americans are regularly reaching these days — the odds of being diagnosed are one in two.

As I mentioned, there’s a good chance you or someone you love is already developing the disease. And the Alzheimer’s Association estimates one in three senior Americans will die from dementia — with Alzheimer’s being the most common form.

Since we’ve had no good way to treat the disease, Alzheimer’s is terribly expensive. Sadly, much of the cost falls on a sick person’s loved ones. They often have to make burdensome arrangements, or even stop working, in order to provide around-the-clock care.

The disease costs our country some $226 billion a year. It consumed one in five Medicare dollars last year, and by 2050, that figure is expected to balloon to one in three if nothing changes. The total cost to the country could swell to an unbelievable $1.1 trillion by then.

But there’s hope.


Ray Blanco
for The Daily Reckoning

The Daily Reckoning