In the next decade, the prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases is expected to rise dramatically. Today, 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2060 this number is projected to climb to nearly 14 million. Parkinson’s is also on the rise; by 2020 there will be nearly 1.2 million people living with the disease in the U.S. Although lesser known, Lewy body dementia is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, and while it is underreported and often misdiagnosed, approximately 1.3 million people in the U.S. are affected by this disease.
While these statistics are alarming, there is hope on the horizon. VAI scientists, along with national and international collaborators, are making significant strides toward the development of new diagnostics and therapies that slow or stop disease progression – something no current treatment can accomplish.