Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease, affecting ~6.7 million Americans and > 55 million people worldwide. These numbers are predicted to double every 20 years. Nearly two thirds are women. Cost of care is estimated at $345 billion in the US and $1.3 trillion globally. For more statistics, refer to the Facts and Figures page of the Alzheimer’s Association and Dementia Statistics.

Two proteins aggregate and kill brain cells in AD—amyloid β-protein (Aβ) and tau, which form the pathological hallmarks of the disease—amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, respectively.

Refer also to Familial Alzheimer’s Disease.