THE NEED IS STAGGERING. Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and claims the lives of more than 500,000 people in the United States alone each year. Currently, more than 5 million Americans are living with this disease. The economic impact of AD is significant, costing the United States $226 billion in 2015 and on pace to escalate to $1.1 trillion in 2050.

While the epidemic of AD is widely recognized by individual nations as well as by the World Health Organization, progress in AD clinical research and integrated care has been modest at best.


Key challenges to combating this disease include:

  • poor understanding of disease onset and progression,

  • gaps in funding to support high-risk research efforts,

  • insufficient research tools and companion resources,

  • lack of disease-modifying treatments, and

  • limited public awareness of its societal impact.

In order to avoid the economic and social catastrophes caused by AD, we must address these deficiencies. Strategic focus on funding high-impact research and critical infrastructure to support both AD research and patients are essential to achieving this goal. 

At present, there is no cure for AD. Current treatments only temporarily alleviate symptoms of AD rather than modify the underlying disease to slow, halt, or reverse its progression.

The guide helps to answer the following questions:

What are key facts about the disease?
Why is it important to invest in AD research?  What is the current state of care?
What is the current state of research?
What are major barriers to progress?
How can philanthropy advance a cure for AD?