Alzheimer’s Disease was first recognised in 1906 by a German physician, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a pioneer in linking symptoms to physical brain changes. He described the case of Auguste D., a patient with profound memory loss, unfounded suspicions about her family, and other worsening psychological changes. In her brain at autopsy, he saw dramatic shrinkage and abnormal deposits in and around nerve cells.
Today, dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease which represents 70% of dementias, is one of the biggest global public health challenges facing our generation. Over 35 million people worldwide currently live with the condition and this number is expected to double by 2030 and more than triple by 2050 to 115 million. With the world’s population aging rapidly, Alzheimer’s Disease alone, as opposed to dementia in general, is expected to boom in the elderly, with the worldwide Alzheimer’s Disease patient population expected to swell from 21 million in 2010 to 53 million by 2050.
Alzheimer’s Disease is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder which is first identified in its impact on a patient’s memory but ultimately leads to loss of their ability to care for themselves. The growth in prevalence of age related neurological disorders, and Alzheimer’s Disease in particular, over the next few decades is expected to result in enormous pressure on social and health-care systems of developed and developing economies. Curative or disease-modifying therapies are urgently needed to offset this upcoming Alzheimer’s Disease epidemic.
In the absence of improved treatment options, healthcare costs associated with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias are high and expected to continue to rise substantially. In the United States alone, Alzheimer’s Disease healthcare costs are projected to increase from US$ 200 billion in 2013 to US$ 1.2 trillion by 2050. The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia was US$ 604 billion in 2010.
The lack of effective treatment options for Alzheimer’s Disease creates a heavy personal, societal and financial burden worldwide. In response to these challenges, researchers have undergone intense searches for new, more effective treatments to prevent, cure or modify this devastating disorder. In spite of these efforts, the US Food and Drug Administration have approved only five medications to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease, with the most recent approval being as far back as 2003.
More effective therapies, such as those addressed by the Neuro-Bio technology, combined with diagnostics and biomarkers to correctly diagnose the ailment and treat the condition in a more timely fashion, will significantly lessen the burden on patients, carers and healthcare systems alike and are urgently required.