Date of Defense





The world's population is getting older. Modern science has ensured that people are living longer and healthier lives. However, as the world ages, there is a looming epidemic of Alzheimer's disease promising to surface at any time. Currently, there are almost 30 million cases of Alzheimer's disease worldwide, and that number is only increasing. It is predicted that by 2050, that number will quadruple, and that 1 out of every 85 people will be living with Alzheimer's (Brookmeyer, Johnson, Ziegler-Graham & Arrighi, 2007). This disease kills about 100,000 people each year, which makes it the fourth leading cause of adult death (Lehne, 2007). It is also the second most feared illness, after cancer {The Alzheimer's Project, 2009). Advances in therapeutic measures, preventive measures, and research are giving hope to controlling the disease. Even small delays in the onset of Alzheimer's will significantly reduce the global burdens of the disease. As Robert J. Hodes, MD, the Director of National Institute on Aging, NIH states, "If we fail to cure or prevent Alzheimer's disease in the years and decades to come, we will be facing an enormous increase of human suffering, as well as the financial and societal impact that will occur" (The Alzheimer's Project, 2009). If the progression and onset of Alzheimer's could be reduced by a meager one year due to advances, there would be nearly 9.2 million fewer cases by 2050 (Brookmeyer et al., 2007).

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

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Nursing Commons