Thies said the medical community is not prepared to deal with the influx of Alzheimer's disease that is expected to occur in the next 40 years. While cancer, heart disease and AIDS each receive about $5 billion to 6 billion in research investments per year, Alzheimer's receives a few hundred million, Thies said. He predicted the cognitive condition would not see breakthrough treatments in the same way the other major diseases had without adequate investment in new research and treatment.
"The medical care system is not organized to deal with cognitive dysfunction in the community, and it's only going to get worse," said Thies. "The post-World War II baby boomers will see a large influx of Alzheimer's and dementia, and until we start to invest at a significant level, we're not going to see the necessary changes and better therapies that are needed to combat this disease."