October 2009

2009 National Memory Screening Day to be held November 17th

As the nation’s population increasingly focuses on healthy aging, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA), a member of the ACT-AD Coalition, urges individuals concerned about memory problems or who want to check their memory to take a free screening on its 7th annual National Memory Screening Day on November 17.  Qualified healthcare professionals will provide the confidential screenings and educational materials at community sites from coast to coast. The test consists of a series of simple questions and tasks, and takes about five to 10 minutes to administer.

These memory screenings do not represent a diagnosis. AFA advises individuals who score poorly or who have normal scores but are still concerned to follow up with their clinicians.  Some memory problems can be readily treated, such as those caused by vitamin deficiencies or thyroid problems. Other memory problems might result from causes that are not currently reversible, such as Alzheimer’s disease. In general, the earlier the diagnosis, the easier it is to treat one of these conditions. Early diagnosis facilitates better treatment since numerous studies show that available therapies can help delay progression of symptoms, and it enables individuals with Alzheimer’s to seek behavioral management interventions, be more involved in long-term planning, and obtain social services support for themselves and their families.

National Memory Screening Day coincides with National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, which takes place during November. For more information, visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org or call 866-AFA-8484.

Food and Drug Administration 2010 Appropriations Signed Into Law

On October 16 President Obama signed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010 into law.  The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) fiscal year 2010 appropriations were included in the Act. The FDA will receive an additional $306 million this fiscal year, an increase of 15% from last year’s appropriations.  FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition received the largest increase due to new responsibilities, and the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) received the second largest boost, approximately $52 million.  The ACT-AD Coalition applauds these efforts to invest the resources necessary to support FDA’s dual missions of protecting the nation’s food and medical products and ensuring that patients have timely access to the interventions they need.