More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease, including nearly 16,000 in Summit and Portage counties. Taking place annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the world's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. The 2016 Akron Walk to End Alzheimer's is scheduled for Oct. 2 at The University of Akron Stile Athletics Field House, 289 S. Union Ave, Akron. Walk participants include professionals, family, supporters, caregivers, and individuals with the disease themselves.

While many top peer-to-peer fundraiser are struggling, the Walk to End Alzheimer's has seen significant growth nationally. When the Alzheimer's Association Blossom Memory Walk was at Blossom Music Center in 2010, the event saw nearly 800 participants and supporters. The 2016 Akron Walk to End Alzheimer's in October is expecting nearly 2,000.

The number of Americans living with Alzheimer's disease is growing. An estimated 5.4 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer's disease in 2016, including approximately 200,000 individuals under age 65.

These numbers will escalate rapidly in coming years, as the baby boom generation has begun to reach age 65 and beyond, the age range of greatest risk of Alzheimer's. By 2050, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple, from 5.2 million to a projected 13.8 million, barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent or cure the disease. Previous estimates based on high range projections of population growth provided by the U.S. Census suggest that this number may be as high as 16 million.

To support the research and medical breakthroughs necessary to prevent, slow or treat the disease, the Alzheimer's Association hosts the world's largest forum for the dementia research community: the Alzheimer's Association International Conference (AAIC.) AAIC 2016, taking place this week in Toronto, Canada, allows researchers, clinicians, care providers and students from more than 70 countries to network and discuss the latest dementia study results, theories and discoveries. That research, and those discoveries, is in part the result of the fundraising done through the Walk to End Alzheimer's and other Alzheimer's Association initiatives.

The Walk to End Alzheimer's is presented locally by Maplewood Senior Living. To start a team, sponsor, or get additional information on the Walk, contact Stephanie Mueller at or call 330-650-0552. Additional information is available online at

The Alzheimer's Association Greater East Ohio Area Chapter makes programs and services available locally to individuals and their families. Alzheimer's disease is a growing epidemic and the nation's sixth leading cause of death, the only in the top 10 nationally that cannot be prevented, treated or slowed. For more information on local services and events, visit: