Alzheimer's fatalities in the United States are on the rise, with the disease now the sixth leading cause of death, according to the Alzheimer's Association.
Between 2000 and 2010, deaths from the disease increased by 68 percent.
"It's an epidemic…Currently [there is] no way to delay it, prevent it or cure it," NPR quoted Maria Carrillo, a neuroscientist with the Alzheimer's Association.
One reason for the rise: deaths from other causes like heart disease and cancer are going down.
Still the Alzheimer's Association reports the numbers of people over 65 who develop the disease will more than double by 2050 without treatment breakthroughs.
"If a person is living with Alzheimer's disease in their 70s, it actually doubles their mortality risk," Carrillo said.
Researchers say more funding is needed to make a dent in slowing, preventing, and treating Alzheimer's.