A committee of Alzheimer's experts is advising the Obama Administration on how to execute and meet goals of a recently released proposal in a two-day meeting which began on Tuesday.
President Obama signed the National Alzheimer's Project Act into law in Jan. 2011 and experts have since been formulating the framework for the plan. The final draft of the plan is due on the desk of Health and Human Services officials in January or early February.Experts are aiming to develop effective ways to treat and prevent the disease on offer better care for those afflicted by 2025, according to a draft of the a program.
I think the potential impact of this plan is huge, Ron Petersen, chairman of the NAPA advisory council and director of the Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center told USA Today. Given the economic problems, it's a bit of a challenge, but this is our chance to make a bold statement.
Not only does the baby boomer's disease afflict the individual, but it also puts an enormous burden in caregiving costs on families in society.
It is also estimated that by 2050, Alzheimer care could cost the U.S. over a trillion dollars annually. The total cost of Alzheimer's today is $183 billion, which is up $11 billion compared to last year, according to the Alzheimer Association.
We're not going to fix this without substantial resources, said David Hoffman of the New York State Department of Health, who directs that state's Alzheimer's programs to the Associated Press. In New York, we're hanging on by our nails.
The Alzheimer Association estimated that 5.4 million Americans are affected by the Alzheimer's or other dementias, and is the sixth-leading cause of death in the nation, according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, claiming 83,308 lives in 2010.
The framework's 12-page outline of plans to achieve the goals set forth by the Obama Administration highlights five areas:
1. Prevent and efficiently treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025
2. Improve care quality and efficiency
3. Increase patient and family support
4. Improve public awareness and engagement
5. Improve data to track progress