WASHINGTON, D.C. (KXAN) — The number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease is expected to double in the next two decades, according to new findings by the Alzheimer’s Association.

The report warns Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are expected to increase from 6.7 million today to nearly 13 million by 2050.

An experimental drug aims to change that outlook.

“It is now possible to identify individuals at risk of developing dementia 20 years before symptoms,” said Dr. Thomas Obisesan of Howard University.

Howard University is part of the 75 academic centers across the nation asking people between 55 to 80 years old without memory loss to take part in the AHEAD study, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

The trial is testing a newly FDA approved investigational drug called Lecanemab, which aims to identify a protein in the brain called “amyloid” that builds up in people who go on to have memory problems because of Alzheimer’s disease.

“That’s why the AHEAD study is so critically important to try and remove this protein from the brain before individuals ever develop symptoms,” said Dr. Obisesan.

Researchers are looking for a diverse pool of volunteers to sign up for the AHEAD study, including African Americans and Latinos.

“Because we need to know whether a particular medication works across all populations, not just in one population. We also want to be able to clearly discern whether there are any specific side effects for that medication which may be population specific,” said Dr. Obisesan.

To find out if you are eligible for the AHEAD Study, click here.