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Alzheimer's Deaths On The Rise

"WHEELCHAIR" BY FLICKR USER Ze'ev Barkan / (CC x 2.0)

Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in Illinois and the number of cases is likely to jump even more in the next few years.

Experts say the expected increase of nearly 20 percent is due to more awareness, better diagnosis, and as longer lifespans. With no way to prevent, cure, or even slow progression, Alzheimer’s is straining health care programs.  

Mike Bius of the Alzheimer’s Association said it’s resulted in about $187 billion in costs across the country.

“It has a tremendous emotional toll and a familial toll, but also an economic toll as well," said Bius. "By 2050, instead of 187 billion, we could be looking at over a trillion dollars of cost for this disease.”

Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise, while there has been a decrease in the other top deadly diseases. Bius said a healthy diet and exercise can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

Jaclyn has an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a BS in History form Monmouth College. Prior to reporting, Jaclyn was a social science teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School. Previously, Jaclyn reported for WICS Newschannel 20 where she covered a variety of assignments including courts, politics, and breaking news. She also reported at Siouxland News in Sioux City Iowa, the shared CBS/Fox television newsroom. Her internships included WGN and Comcast SportsNet in Chicago.