Scientists have also predicted that there are 47 million people already at risk of developing the condition as they show signs of neuropathological changes that could eventually lead to Alzheimer’s dementia.
Ron Brookmeyer, professor of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the study’s lead author, called for “improved methods” to identify those with clinical symptoms, which will later develop into the disease.
He said: “There are about 47 million people in the US today who have some evidence of preclinical Alzheimer’s, which means they have either a build-up of protein fragments called beta-amyloid or neurodegeneration of the brain but don’t yet have symptoms.
”Many of them will not progress to Alzheimer’s dementia in their lifetimes.
“We need to have improved methods to identify which persons will progress to clinical symptoms, and develop interventions for them that could slow the progression of the disease, if not stop it all together.”
Researchers found that by 2060 about 5.7 million Americans will have mild cognitive impairment and another 9.3 million will have dementia due to Alzheimer’s.
Of the group who have developed Alzheimer’s, around 4 million Americans will need an intensive level of care, like a nursing home.
Mr Brookmeyer added:”Estimates by disease state and severity are important because the resources needed to care for patients vary so much over the course of the illness.”
The predictions were published in the study the ‘Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association’.
People aged 65 and older are more at risk of suffering with the brain condition.
Three per cent of people aged 65 to 74, 17 percent of people age 75 to 84, and 32 per cent of people age 85 or older have Alzheimer’s dementia.