What is Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias


Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are debilitating conditions that impair memory, thought processes, and functioning, primarily among older adults. The effects of these diseases can be devastating, both for individuals afflicted with ADRD and for their families. People with ADRD may require significant amounts of health care and intensive long-term services and supports -- including, but not limited to, management of chronic conditions, help taking medications, round-the-clock supervision and care, or assistance with personal care activities, such as eating, bathing, and dressing. In the United States, ADRD affects as many as 5 million people and nearly 40% of the population aged 85 and older. Roughly 13.2 million older Americans are projected to have ADRD by 2050.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is working to identify how to prevent ADRD and to address the challenges faced by people with these conditions and their caregivers. The National Institute on Aging leads the National Institutes of Health's efforts in clinical, behavioral and social research into Alzheimer's disease, aimed at finding ways to treat and ultimately prevent the disorder. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working to implement the Healthy Brain Initiative, including assisting with monitoring the public health burden of cognitive impairment and enhancing understanding about how diverse groups perceive cognitive health. The Administration on Aging Alzheimer's Disease Supportive Services Program is helping to create responsive, integrated, and sustainable service delivery systems for people with dementias and their caregivers.

Comments and questions, or alerts to broken links, should be sent to napa@hhs.gov.

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