Today is Alzheimer's Action Day, a day of awareness in honor of the 35 million people Worldwide who are affected by dementia. Millions of Americans will be proudly sporting purple today to help raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with this disease. This year, people affected by Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia are encouraged to share their stories with the World in hopes of enhancing understanding of the difficult fight families and loved ones face when affected.

[caption id="attachment_29371" align="alignright" width="409"]Go Purple to End Alzheimer's Image via the Alzheimer's Association[/caption]

Facts and figures about Alzheimer's disease

In 2012, the costs of caring for those affected by Alzheimer's disease will reach a staggering $200 billion; $140 billion in Medicare and Medicaid costs. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause in the top 10 for which there is no cure, no method of preventing or even slowing the disease. More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care to a loved one with Alzheimer's disease, totaling the equivalent of $210 billion in care.

There is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Current treatment options have the ability to temporarily slow the progression of the disease, and research continues to push towards finding a cure. It's not known what causes Alzheimer's disease, although some risk factors have been identified. In effort to coordinate research and education efforts, the U.S. Government has unveiled a National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease with the goal of preventing and effectively treating the disease by the year 2025. Researchers are already identifying new ways to detect Alzheimer's disease and promising new treatments, but the road ahead is still a long one.

Diagnostic advances aim for early detection

Because current treatments are able to slow the progression of the disease, but only when it's detected in its early stages, on key focus of research has been developing diagnostic tests and criteria to help physicians determine the presence of Alzheimer's disease even before an individual is showing any signs or symptoms. The diagnostic guidelines have been revised to allow for earlier and more accurate detection. Some strides have been made in identifying gene mutations and other biomarkers associated with the disease, but to date, there is no 100 percent accurate diagnostic test for Alzheimer's disease. walks the Walk to End Alzheimer's

At, we like to do our part and get involved in events that raise awareness about issues surrounding our nation's growing elderly population. Our team will be participating in the Pacific Northwest Walk to End Alzheimer's this Sunday, September 23rd in Seattle. Join us to help support a worthy cause, raise awareness and reduce stigma surrounding this devastating disease. We hope to see you there. And don't forget to wear purple to proudly display your support!