It’s estimated that more than six million Americans — and about 24 million people worldwide — are living with the degenerative brain disease called Alzheimer’s, a progressive mental deterioration that is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States among people who are 65 and older.

The Alzheimer’s Association and other sources report that medical experts estimate the number of people with this form of dementia more than doubling within the next three decades.

That reality is leading to more research aimed at deepening knowledge about the causes and progression of the disease to help in developing effective treatments.

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