Unraveling Alzheimer’s: Confronting the Effect on Mortality

Today, Alzheimer’s is one of the most prevalent diseases in America, affecting about 11.3% of all people aged 65 years and over. In 2021, there were about 6.2 million people with Alzheimer’s, with the number expected to more than double and reach 13 million by 2050 should a cure not be found. It typically affects seniors, with 72% of the 6.2 million people living with Alzheimer’s being over 75 years old.

The most apparent symptom of Alzheimer’s is the loss of memory. Currently, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. As such, many people with memory problems do not bother getting a diagnosis for fear of the loss of independence that comes with a positive Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Cognes offers a way to get a first-step screening from the comfort of your home using your phone, avoiding going to the doctor altogether. Depending on your results, you can see a physician to map the way forward.

Benefits of Getting a Timely Diagnosis

Alzheimer’s typically affects senior citizens, with most patients being older than 65. The older a patient is, the higher the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s. Some of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s include memory impairment, trouble concentrating, confusion, and even poor judgment.

Typically, due to the nature of the disease, a positive diagnosis could lead to feelings of loss of independence and self-esteem as work and other activities may be impaired. This, combined with the fact that there is no cure for the disease, makes a lot of people reluctant to get a diagnosis of the condition.

Although doctors cannot offer you a cure for your condition, they can do other things. Knowing whether you have Alzheimer’s can help doctors address other conditions that exacerbate cognitive impairment, which can drastically improve your quality of life. Starting treatment as early as possible could help avoid further decline down the line.

Alzheimer’s can be hard on the patient and the people around them. Interventions that could help are always welcome. Experienced doctors can offer an array of both drug and non-drug solutions that can help slow memory and cognitive decline. Doctors can also guide patients into clinical trials to help develop future treatments and access experimental drugs that could help.

As the disease runs its course, patients will be more and more dependent on caregivers for everyday tasks. Doctors can offer valuable advice on formulating routines and strategies to manage the patient’s environment better and maximize their quality of life. Information on what to expect from Alzheimer’s may not be immediately available to most people. 

Doctors are experts; they understand the news of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis can leave most people shaken. As such, they are available to answer any questions you may have and alleviate any anxieties the patient may have. Their advice can help keep the patient as healthy as possible and lead a life that will yield the least amount of disruption to people’s daily lives.

Cognes understands the importance of a diagnosis and people’s concerns before the test. With Cognes, patients can use their top-of-the-line technology and smartphones to perform a diagnostic screening remotely. This takes off a lot of the edge that goes into the decision of getting to the first test for Alzheimer’s.

Mortalities from Alzheimer’s

Though memory and general cognitive decline are the primary symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s, the disease has a fatal prognosis. Today, Alzheimer’s kills more people than breast and prostate cancer combined. It is one of the biggest causes of mortality today, killing one out of every three seniors.

For seniors aged 70 with Alzheimer’s, 61% are expected to die before they reach the age of 80. Of seniors aged 70 without Alzheimer’s, only 30% are expected to die before they reach the age of 80. This is a difference of almost 200%. 

Unlike other causes of mortality, the number of deaths associated with Alzheimer’s has seen a drastic rise over the past two decades. Heart disease, the number one cause of mortality, has seen a decrease of 7.8% from 2000–2019. In the same period, the number of Alzheimer’s cases more than doubled by 145.2%.

Not much is known about the cause and progression of Alzheimer’s. People 65 and older typically survive for about four to eight years after diagnosis, but some outliers end up living up to 20 years longer.

Disparities in Alzheimer’s

There have been calls in the medical field to ensure there is equality across gender, race, creed, and socioeconomic status. Though much progress has been made, it is not nearly enough, as racial discrimination is still reported as a barrier to access to Alzheimer’s care. Caregivers of color also report being victims of discrimination.

Both black Americans and Hispanics are more likely to suffer from dementia but are a lot less likely to get a diagnosis as compared to white Americans. This is also reflected in the mortality rates from Alzheimer’s.

What is Cognes?

This is a software tool based on machine learning analysis of an array of facial images and cognitive assessment tests that can be used through a smartphone app to determine whether someone has or is at risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

It provides a non-invasive way to get an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. It eliminates much of the anxiety that would come with going to a medical center to get subjected to all manner of scans. It is a more accessible way to get your diagnosis.

Since the software is fed millions of faces and cognitive tests, it can use cutting-edge computing to compare the patient’s face and cognitive tests and determine whether you have a risk of developing dementia. It can detect and pick up nuances at every stage of the disease, allowing for more effective testing.

Benefits of Cognes

  • Given the nuances the technology can pick up, it effectively detects dementia. It is also convenient since all you need is a smartphone to use the technology.This convenience is only amplified as it can be used by anyone anywhere, regardless of where they are in the world. It is also affordable, with the average cost of the entire diagnosis being about $10,000. This democratizes dementia diagnosis, making it available for 50%–80% of Alzheimer’s patients who remain undiagnosed.

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