All eyes are on London right now as it counts down to the 2012 Olympic Games, but the event with the most global significance has just happened 5,000 miles away – in Vancouver. The Alzheimer's Association held its annual international conference in western Canada's urban gem, where the top minds from around the world gathered to share research, discuss future challenges, and get a "state of the union" update on Alzheimer's a disease that can only be described as the 21st century's greatest health and fiscal challenge.
The global forecast for Alzheimer's is not good. Today, over 35 million people worldwide are living with the disease, and total costs related to Alzheimer's are already an incredible 1 percent of global GDP. By 2030, 65 million people will have the disease, and by 2050, that number will swell to over 115 million people. Since the fiscal costs will rise along with the number of cases, it is no overstatement to claim that Alzheimer's will be a worldwide fiscal nightmare.