COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Alzheimer’s Association released its latest statistics Wednesday, and it’s not good news for Ohio families and caregivers.

Some of the facts reported by the association include:

  • 220,000 Ohioans are living with Alzheimer’s, and by 2025, that figure is expected to climb to 250,000.
  • There are 493,000 family members who serve as caregivers for those living with Alzheimer’s and is often a thankless and exhausting job. More than 60 percent of those caregivers have chronic health problems themselves.
  • If you put a price tag on all that loving, round-the-clock care, it totals more than $13 billion in unpaid care each year.

Even if you don’t have a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, it’s taking your tax dollars. Medicaid spends more than $2.5 billion each year caring for Ohioans with Alzheimer’s.

U.S. health officials in January approved a closely watched Alzheimer’s drug that modestly slows the brain-robbing disease, albeit with potential safety risks that patients and their doctors will have to carefully weigh.

The drug, Leqembi, is the first that’s been convincingly shown to slow the decline in memory and thinking that defines Alzheimer’s by targeting the disease’s underlying biology. The Food and Drug Administration approved it for patients with Alzheimer’s, specifically those with mild or early-stage disease.