"Many studies have shown that certain risk factors are more common in people with Alzheimer's disease, but determining whether these factors actually cause Alzheimer's is more hard", says Professor Hugh Markus.
Alzheimer's risk is growing and 46 million Americans now could be in the early stages of the brain disease, according to new estimates from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Experts explain that Alzheimer's disease is the leading cause of dementia.
"But it's not a matter of going systematically through the population". Currently, about 47 million Americans demonstrate some evidence of susceptibility to Alzheimer's and experts believe the prevalence of the disease will double by 2060. There were 3.65 million cases of this disease in 2017 and by 2060 Alzheimer's will grow up to 9.3 million.
Then they made calculations to predict how many people are likely progressing to Alzheimer's right now, although they may not know it.
Fargo said that "It shouldn't be scary".
"There are about 47 million people in the US today who have some evidence of preclinical Alzheimer's, which means they have either a build-up of protein fragments called beta-amyloid or neurodegeneration of the brain but don't yet have symptoms", Ron Brookmeyer, professor of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the study's lead author, said in a statement.
Costing Americans more than $259 billion each year, Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in the U.S. It has no treatment or cure.
Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life.
In comparison, today about 2.4 million Americans are estimated to be living with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease. "It suggests that improving education could have a significant effect on reducing the number of people who suffer from this devastating disease".
According to the Alzheimer's Association not all the people having Alzheimer's-associated brain damage will develop this disease. "There is a group of people that have the brain changes but never experience dementia symptoms", the Alzheimer's Association said in a statement.
"Just like you can have high cholesterol today and not develop heart disease, heart attack or stroke, you can be in this pre-clinical state but not go on later to develop Alzheimer's disease dementia".
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