From the December 2007 issue of Boomer Market Advisor • Subscribe!

Boomers and memory loss

According to the Los Angeles Daily News, an estimated 500,000 of the nation's 76 million baby boomers have early-onset Alzheimer's or other dementia.

And as the post-war generation ages, so does the risk of memory-loss disease. Today, 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's. By 2050, they are expected to swell to 16 million. Of those, up to 5 percent are expected to have early-onset, which often runs in families.

"It's a huge problem," Dr. Gary W. Small, director of the UCLA Center on Aging, told the paper. "As baby boomers get older, they're in the age of risk. It's really sad, because in their milder states, people are aware of their condition."

The Daily News says they are new tests to aid diagnoses, as well four new drugs that can slow the mental decline. There are also a growing number of "memory clubs" or support groups, as well as advocates with Alzheimer's who make their voices heard.

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