The Alzheimer's Association was saddened to learn about the death of legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt. Already a trailblazer, becoming the winningest Division 1 coach in NCAA history, Coach Summitt led the way by bravely disclosing her younger-onset Alzheimer's diagnosis in May of 2011.
"The Alzheimer's Association extends sincere condolences to Pat Summitt's son Tyler, extended family, many friends and countless fans. Coach Summitt faced Alzheimer's disease, as only she could, strongly and publicly. One of the greatest coaches in the history of sports continued to be an educator and coach off the court, educating so many about Alzheimer's disease and rallying people to take action and become involved in the Alzheimer's cause," said Harry Johns, president and CEO, Alzheimer's Association. "Coach Summitt was a courageous advocate for this cause. In honor of her struggle and the challenges faced by millions of Americans, we will continue to aggressively pursue greater awareness, support for families and research that will slow, stop and ultimately cure Alzheimer's disease."
According the Alzheimer's Association 2016 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures, Alzheimer's disease is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, and 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 and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65, living with younger-onset Alzheimer's. These numbers will escalate rapidly in coming years, by 2050, the number of people with Alzheimer's disease may nearly triple.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.