Alzheimer’s cases rise 10% in U.S.

From Times wire reports

More than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, a 10% increase since the last Alzheimer’s Assn. estimate five years ago -- and a count that supports the long-forecast dementia epidemic as the population grays.

Age is the biggest risk factor, and the report released Tuesday showed the nation is on track for skyrocketing Alzheimer’s once the baby boomers start turning 65 in 2011. Already, one in eight people 65 and older have the mind-destroying illness, and nearly one in two people older than 85.

Unless scientists discover a way to delay Alzheimer’s brain attack, about 7.7 million people are expected to have the disease by 2030, the report says. By 2050, that toll could reach 16 million.

The report also said that between 200,000 and half a million people younger than 65 have either early-onset Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.