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About Alzheimer's

the facts    timeline    what's being done

The Facts

EVERY 67 SECONDS someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer's.

About 5.3 MILLION PEOPLE in the US now live with Alzheimer's.

10 MILLION baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's in their lifetimes.


Proportions of deaths due to Alzheimer's disease increased 71% between 2000-2013.
Direct costs amount to $226 BILLION/YEAR.

Unpaid caregiving costs amount to another $217.7 BILLION/YEAR.

* Was seventh until June, 2008
Thanks to the Alzheimer's Association for compiling these facts and figures.

Download the Association's complete 2015 report 

Growth Rate is Startling

Click on the image above for larger version.

Estimated Number of New Cases.

(Note: This is not the number of cumulative total cases, but new cases in the given year.)

2000: 411,000

2010: 454,000

2030: 615,000
2050: 959,000

Cost is Enormous

Click on the image above for larger version.

From Alzheimer's Association Report: 2015 Facts & Figures
Costs of Alzheimer's are difficult, at best, to estimate.

Direct medical and care costs, while great, are only the beginning.

The toll on family and loved ones is enormous. This will outweigh all other costs in the long run.

Now There is Hope

Therapeutic applications of the Klein Lab findings suggest that early diagnosis, lifestyle changes and interventions may arrest and even reverse this devastating disease.

A vaccine based on the work of our team is expected to begin clinical trials this year.

and counting....

Meet Auguste D, above, the first patient diagnosed with Alzheimer's one hundred years ago, in 1906.

Her physician: Alois Alzheimer

Learn more about Dr. Alzheimer 

Since Auguste D was the first patient identified as having Alzheimer's, more than 18 million have been diagnosed.


1864 Dr. Alois Alzheimer is born in Bavaria
1901 -1906 Dr. Alzheimer observes August D., a fifty-one-year-old woman from Frankfurt
1906 Dr. Alzheimer publishes histological changes he has observed in his patient
1910 Emil Krpelin uses the term "Alzheimer's disease"
1910 - 1960s Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains a little-known disease, often referred to as "senility" or "hardening of the arteries"
1974 - 1975 National Institute's of Health National Institute on Aging is established
1976 Biochemical changes in the brain are associated with AD
1979 Alzheimer's Association is founded
1980s AD becomes a social movement
Research on the biochemistry of toxic proteins of plaques and tangles is underway
1987 Rita Hayworth dies of what is acknowledged as AD
1991 The Klein Lab establishes its Alzheimer's disease research program
1993 Cognex is the first FDA-approved drug to treat AD
1994 Possible effect of estrogen on AD is postulated
1996 Aricept is approved by FDA to treat AD
1998 Discovery of ADDLs is published by the Klein Lab
2001 Prototype for ADDLs vaccine introduced by the Klein Lab
2002 First anti-AD is tested in humans; trial is halted due to inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
2003 The Klein Lab clinical study establishes ADDLs in Alzheimer's-afflicted brain
2004 The Klein Lab publishes breakthrough study showing ADDLs attack on memory linked synapses
Ronald Reagan dies of AD
2005 Prototype diagnostics developed for Alzheimer's disease based on ADDL detection
Namenda is approved by FDA to treat AD
2007 ADDLs found to trigger multiple facets of Alzheimers brain pathology (Tau, ROS, etc.)
2008 Researchers at the Klein Lab reveal research describing AD as a form of "type 3 diabetes"
Therapeutic anti-ADDL vaccine protects brain cells in pre-clinical study

Sources: Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies; The Klein Lab

What's Being Done

What causes ADDLs, the toxic molecules that bring about Alzheimer's, to develop?

How can ADDL formation and their toxic action on brain cells be stopped?

Researchers around the world are looking to the Klein Lab and its expertise in this area for answers. Collaborators from Japan, China and the US are sending compounds to the Lab to assess their ability to eliminate ADDLs. Drugs that block ADDL attachment to brain cells are being sought. New approaches to vaccine therapies are underway. Links between diabetes and Alzheimers are being exploited for new therapeutic strategies.

For early Alzheimers diagnostics, fifteen labs in Europe alone are working to develop an assay for ADDLs in blood and spinal fluid.

Progress with nanoparticles is especially promising, with an assay close at hand. Northwestern University's leadership in nanoresearch provides a powerful gateway for further development.


Image courtesy of Dr. Pascale Lacor, research assistant professor in the Klein Lab.


The Klein Lab at Northwestern University
2205 Tech Drive
Evanston, Illinois 60208-3520


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