SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP)–The number of deaths caused by Alzheimer’s may be far greater than previously recorded.
An 8-year-long study is ranking Alzheimer’s as a leading cause of death for Americans… placing it just behind heart disease and cancer.
In 2010, Alzheimer’s reportedly killed 83 thousand Americans, but the new study found that Alzheimer’s could be responsible for a half a million American deaths each year.
The study’s authors wrote that’s because Alzheimer’s deaths have been under-reported and that often doctors name a secondary problem that stemmed from Alzheimer’s disease as the cause of death on death certificates.
Experts at the Alzheimer’s Association told 22News that Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease with the following warning signs:
1. Memory changes that disrupt daily life
2. Challenges in planning or solving problems
3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work, or at leisure
4. Confusion with time or place
5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships
6. New problems with words in speaking or writing
7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps
8. Decreased or poor judgment
9. Withdrawal from work or social activities
10. Changes in mood and personality
They also told 22News it is important you call your doctor if you or a loved one are experiencing any of those symptons.
You can also find more information at www.alz.org, or by calling the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24-hour hotline at (800) 272-3900.
The Alzheimer’s Association says the importance of early detection and early intervention can’t be stressed strongly enough and that they believe this new information will raise awareness for the need for Alzheimer’s research funding.