September 2010

White House Highlights Alzheimer’s Disease Challenges

On September 21, White House officials took the occasion of National Alzheimer’s Day to engage a group of Alzheimer’s advocates in a briefing on “The Challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease in the United States.”  The briefing’s three expert panels focused on major scientific, clinical and political burdens to innovation in care faced by all stakeholders including researchers, patients and providers.

The experts and attendees generally agreed on two areas of interest to ACT-AD and its members: the exponential growth in the disease’s incidence rate has the potential to bankrupt the nation’s healthcare system and in order to catalyze AD breakthroughs, an immediate injection of funds will be necessary.  As for the current state of advancing AD treatments in theU.S., some experts indicated that breakthroughs in the areas of biomarkers and brain imaging hold promise to improve Alzheimer’s treatment in the future.

Notable speakers included Assistant Secretary for Aging, Kathy Greenlee, former Surgeon General, David Satcher, Director of the National Institute on Aging, Richard Hodes, and Director of the division of Cognitive Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins,Marilyn Albert.

To view the briefing agenda and related information, click here.

ACT-AD Member Hosts 8th Annual National Memory Screening Day

In honor of National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, an ACT-AD member, is sponsoring its 8th annual National Memory Screening Day.  On November 16, community sites nationwide will offer free, confidential memory screenings and educational materials to the public.

The face-to-face screenings are administered by qualified healthcare professionals (i.e., physicians, psychologists, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, pharmacists); consist of a series of questions and tasks; and take about five to ten minutes.  Screening sites include Alzheimer’s agencies, assisted living residences, long-term care facilities, doctors’ offices, hospitals, senior centers, YMCA’s, pharmacies and other community venues.

In 2009, nearly 2,200 organizations participated nationwide and an estimated 58,000+ people were screened.  To assist the in this year’s National Memory Screening Day, you can:  host a screening site, offer to be a screener, encourage people with memory concerns to be screened, or spread the word.

For more information visit www.nationalmemoryscreening.org, or call 866-AFA-8484

Notable Experts Join Launch of Alzheimer’s Disease Movement

On October 6,an event will be held in Washington, DC to launch a new movement aimed at advancing policies to prevent, treat and cure Alzheimer’s disease. USAgainstAlzheimer’s is a national campaign committed to ending Alzheimer’s disease in the next 10 years, by galvanizing public sentiment, influencing lawmakers at the state and federal levels and electing candidates who are fully committed to funding research and curing Alzheimer’s disease by 2020.

Presenters of interest to ACT-AD members include Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Dr. Stanley Prusiner, Director of the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases at University of California, San Francisco. To RSVP for the event, visit http://www.usagainstalzheimers.org/forms/sign/join-alz-dc.

To learn more about the movement USAgainstAlzheimer’s, click here.