Alzheimer's Disease

The Problem

Dr. Eva Feldman working with Dr. Bhumsoo Kim in the lab
Dr. Eva Feldman & Dr. Bhumsoo Kim

Alzheimer's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes cognitive decline and dementia, eventually leading to death. In 2019, 5.8 million Americans suffered from the disease at a frequency of 1 in every 10 individuals older than 65 years. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by amyloid-β protein plaques built up in the spaces between neurons, and tangles of tau protein inside the cells of brain tissue.

  • There is no cure, so the disease is fatal, although some drugs slow cognitive decline.
  • Average survival is 4 to 8 years after diagnosis.
  • Around 5% of cases are inherited, occurring earlier in life, caused by single gene mutations. The other 95% of cases are not inherited and develop later in life.
  • The cause and mechanism of Alzheimer's disease remains unknown.

“About 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Risk factors include your family history, type 2 diabetes and obesity, high blood pressure, previous brain trauma and genetic risk factors."

Dr. Eva Feldman I Detroit Free Press