6 Shocking Facts about Alzheimer’s Disease

Kenneth Knowles, MD
Medically reviewed by Kenneth Knowles, MDDecember 9th, 2019
elderly woman looking out the window

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, you’re probably pretty familiar with the mental challenges posed by the disease. It can make even the simplest and most frequent tasks difficult and cause the sufferer to lose their ability to even recognize faces of their loved ones. But in addition to the observable and commonly known facts about this progressive disease, there are some things you may not know.

1. Chronic Sleep Deprivation Could Contribute

A study found that a buildup of the protein beta-amyloid may attack brain cells and trigger Alzheimer’s. This protein is common in those who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. So prioritizing sleep may be even more important than we already knew!

2. Music Can Help

Music has been shown to boost brain activity, and has been shown to be an effective therapy for Alzheimer’s patients. Music has been shown to connect us to our emotions well, which can lead to unlocking memories and improved cognitive ability over time.

A study in 2013 found that musical aptitude and musical appreciation are two of the longest lasting abilities for Alzheimer’s sufferers.

3. Alzheimer’s Is a Leading Cause of Death

In fact, it comes in sixth behind heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, accidents and stroke. The

CDC reported over 93,500 deaths from Alzheimer’s in 2014 alone. And the condition is widespread: According to the

Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in every 3 seniors will die with this disease or another form of dementia.

4. Women Are Far More Susceptible than Men

In fact, about two of every three Alzheimer’s patients in the U.S. are female. Traditionally, it’s been thought this may be due to women tending to live longer than men. The risk of developing this or another form of dementia grow exponentially with age. Researchers are beginning to question this conclusion, however, as more genetic and hormonal influences come to light.

5. Alcoholics Are at High Risk

Alcohol-related brain damage (or

ARBD) is a disorder caused by overconsumption of alcohol over a long period of time. This excessive consumption can lead to many forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.

6. Over 16 Million Americans Are Caregivers for Alzheimer’s Patients

These unpaid caregivers account for 83 percent of the help given to older adults. They provide 18.4 billion hours of care, for a value of more than $230 billion.

This can take a huge toll on caregivers. If you’re caring for someone in the grip of dementia, know that you are not alone. There are resources and support available to help.

Additionally, getting an Alzheimer’s patient to a normal doctor’s office or clinic in the case of an urgent medical need can be hugely challenging. Instead, why not call in expert help from the clinical team at DispatchHealth? They’ll meet you at your home, provide nearly any of the services you could get from your local emergency room, and help your loved one feel more comfortable in familiar surroundings.


DispatchHealth relies only on authoritative sources, including medical associations, research institutions, and peer-reviewed medical studies.

Sources referenced in this article:

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/nn.4035.epdf
  2. https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving/daily-care/art-music
  3. https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/singing-boosts-brain-activity-in-alzheimer-s-patients-scientists-say-8933021.html
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/282929.php
  5. https://www.cdc.gov/features/alzheimers-disease-deaths/index.html
  6. https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/facts-figures
  7. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/types-dementia/alcohol-related-brain-damage
  8. https://www.alz.org/help-support/caregiving
The DispatchHealth blog provides tips, tricks and advice for improving lives through convenient, comfortable healthcare.

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