Today, as many as 5.1 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s. As the baby boomers march past age 65, that number could more than double in just a few decades.
We’ve made considerable progress in the fight against Alzheimer’s and other dementias, but much more needs to be done right away, because people who face the challenges of caring for someone with Alzheimer’s need help now.
The Obama administration has announced an historic $156 million commitment to address what is needed to confront Alzheimer’s disease. The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease is a roadmap that will help us meet our goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. This is a truly national plan, based on a strong partnership with every part of the Alzheimer’s community, including scientists, patient advocates, and people living with the disease.
This plan lays out a blueprint for expanding research in prevention and treatment and getting the most-promising drugs from discovery into clinical trials. We will also figure out ways to move best practices out of the research journals and into exam rooms as soon as possible.
As we asked for input on the plan, it was crystal clear that our nation couldn’t wait until the strategy became final to start taking action. Thanks to the President’s commitment, work is already underway, including exciting new clinical research projects that may yield breakthroughs in just a few years.
To help those who are dealing with Alzheimer’s today, we have launched a targeted awareness campaign to help people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers find resources that can help them manage the disease.
We’ve launched www.Alzheimers.gov, a website that caregivers told us they need. This site is a one-stop shop for information about a range of questions that people helping people with Alzheimer’s often face:
The TV ad below is part of a national campaign to inform the public about the resources available at Alzheimers.gov.
In creating this plan we also heard that we needed more information for health care providers. So we have funded Geriatric Education Centers around the country to develop curricula and free training on Alzheimer’s and dementia for health professionals. Videos and fact sheets to help busy providers recognize the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and improve the care they provide will be posted on the new website this summer.
These steps in research and education are the cornerstones of an ambitious and aggressive agenda to improve the lives of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and their families.