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5 things you need to know about Alzheimer’s disease

People across the world are living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.

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Here are five things you need to know about the disease:

It’s incredibly costly.

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Early and accurate diagnosis could save up to $7.9 trillion in medical and care costs, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. In 2018, Alzheimer’s and other dementia will cost the nation about $277 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion.

Millions are living with it.

Approximately 5.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million. Every 65 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: Walkers participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer's Los Angeles at LA Live on November 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by (Jesse Grant)/Getty Images for Alzheimer's Association) (Jesse Grant)

Millions die from it.

It is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., and about one in three senior citizens die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from heart disease decreased by 11 percent, but deaths related to Alzheimer’s disease increased 123 percent.

There are many signs and symptoms.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life could be a symptom of something much more serious. Alzheimer’s symptoms include challenges in planning or solving problems; difficulty completing familiar tasks; confusion with time or place; trouble understanding visual images; new problems with words; misplacing things; poor judgment; changes in mood or personality; withdrawal from work or social activities.

People can help end Alzheimer’s.

Thousands of advocates help influence national policy and create widespread awareness of the disease with the Alzheimer’s Association. You can also make a donation to The Longest Day or Walk to End Alzheimer’s in cities across the U.S.

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