Alzheimer's Disease: Current Attitudes, Perceptions and Knowledge

National Survey Fact Sheet

Survey Conducted by the Alzheimer's Disease Screening Discussion Group


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of dementia – a progressive brain disease that gradually destroys a person’s memory and ability to learn, reason, and communicate. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans are currently living with AD and up to 16 million are estimated to have the disease by 2050.

The Alzheimer’s Disease Screening Discussion Group (ADSDG) commissioned the “Alzheimer’s Disease: Current Attitudes, Perceptions and Knowledge” survey as the second phase of the group’s efforts to explore and address the value of early AD screening, diagnosis and treatment.  This online survey of 1,040 U.S. adults age 55 and over was conducted by Harris Interactive.  The survey and the ADSDG were sponsored by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc.

Key Finding

Survey results demonstrate the need for increased education among those most impacted by AD. Specifically, about one-half of adults age 55 and over have known someone with AD and one-third suspect someone they know has the disease, yet most (98 percent) remain confused about its signs and symptoms.  This lack of knowledge, combined with conflicting attitudes and behaviors also revealed by the survey, highlights the need for increased awareness of disease symptoms and benefits of early diagnosis and treatment.


Responsibility Lies with Loved Ones:

Most Americans age 55 and over believe the responsibility lies with those close to the patient to notice signs of AD and take action.

  74 percent believe a family member is most likely to recognize the need for screening in a potential AD patient.

  94 percent agree that if they thought a loved one had AD, they would encourage him or her to find out as early as possible.


Lack of Knowledge is Startling: Despite many Americans age 55 and over having personal experience with AD and believing that close family and friends should be an integral part of recognizing the disease in a loved one, there is a clear lack of knowledge about AD.

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