As Alzheimer's disease causes widespread death of brain cells, researchers presumed the excess tau on the outside of cells was a byproduct of dying neurons releasing their proteins as they broke apart and perished.
While the number of deaths from heart disease decreased by 11 percent from 2000 to 2015, the association says the number of Alzheimer's-related deaths increased by 123 percent in the same time period.
Today, Alzheimer's is recognized as the 6th biggest cause of death among Americans.
Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in both Kentucky and the US and the only disease in the top 10 causes of death in the USA without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. "We must continue to attack Alzheimer's through a multidimensional approach that advances research while also improving support for people with the disease and their caregivers". Adults caring for Alzheimer's patients spent 18.4 billion hours in unpaid care to Alzheimer's patients that is worth an estimated $232 billion. Of that amount, $186 billion is the cost to Medicare and Medicaid, and $60 billion is for out-of-pocket costs, the report found.
Barring the development of medical breakthroughs, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's dementia may almost triple from 5.5 million to 13.8 million by 2050. "Interestingly, the forms of tau that are turned over more quickly are also those that are prone to misfold and aggregate in the context of Alzheimer's disease and other tauopathies".
Heart disease deaths decreased by 11 percent.
Spending on care for people alive in the USA right now who will develop the affliction is projected to cost $47 trillion over the course of their lives, a report issued Tuesday by the Alzheimer's Association found.
Dementia costs the United Kingdom economy £26 billion annually, with over 80 percent of this cost carried by social and informal care, but current cost appraisal methods do not take the full savings in those areas into account.
About one in three caregivers (34 percent) is age 65 or older.
Alzheimer's disease will cost Americans $277 billion in 2018, the second straight year that the figure will exceed a quarter of a trillion dollars, according to the 2018 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report of the Alzheimer's Association.
During the preclinical stage of the disease, people seem to be symptom-free but toxic changes are taking place in the brain. Dementia is one of the costliest conditions to society.
A successful treatment for Alzheimer's would cost the NHS up to £9.4 billion a year and planning for it must start now, experts say.
As much as $7.9 trillion in health and long-term care expenditures could be saved, however, if Alzheimer's were diagnosed early, when cognitive impairment is considered mild, according to an accompanying special report using economic modeling data.