Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tackling Alzheimers...

Given this time of year as the Superbowl approaches, it seems appropriate that we begin this entry with a football metaphor so this post is entitled "Tackling Alzheimer"s", but the truth is that the post's title is borrowed from a recent Diane Rehm program of the same name which was broadcast on 18 January 2012. If you have the time, I urge you to listen to the hour broadcast for an update on the status of this disease and the surprising lack of priority and research funding as compared to say, to the fight on cancer, when the growth of Alzheimer's disease poses a much greater threat to America's aging population and its ever diminishing resources... please click on the blue title text below for the audio... speakers on...

Dementia is poised to become a defining disease of a rapidly aging population _ and a budget-busting one for Medicare, Medicaid and families. The Obama administration is developing the first national Alzheimer's plan to combine research aimed at fighting dementia with help for caregivers. Around the country, thousands of families are pleading for changes to improve early diagnosis and help keep loved ones at home instead of in nursing homes.

Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly five million Americans a year. But that number is expected to triple in coming years as our population ages. The cost of treating sufferers is also predicted to rise – to $1 trillion by 2050. For many years, Alzheimer's struggled to achieve the funding levels of more prominent diseases. And breakthroughs have been few and far in between. Now, the White House has brought together a team of experts to develop a national plan of action for the illness. Join us to discuss what the new plan will mean for sufferers, their families and the medical community.


Robert Egge vice president of public policy at the Alzheimer’s Association

Dr. Scott Turner professor of neurology and Director of the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center

Deborah Rubenstein director of consultation, care management and counseling, Iona Senior Services

Howard Koh Assistant Secretary for Health, Department of Health and Human Services

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