Update on Alzheimer's Awareness Month

Memory loss is truly a global problem, 4-5 Million Americans have Alzheimer's, up to 16 Million Worldwide, with almost 300 Million people potentially impacted by some degree of early memory loss. Adjusting lifestyle and other factors can help.

From the Press Trust of India:

Today, it is estimated that over 4 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease. A progressive, degenerative disorder of the brain, Alzheimer's robs individuals of their memory and their mental and physical functions, leading to increasing dependence on others for care. Factors such as age and family history can contribute to the risk of developing this disease. While no cure exists yet, researchers are learning more about this disease and how to enhance the quality of life for those with Alzheimer's.

President Reagan believed in the courage and capacity of the American people to overcome any obstacle.

The National Institutes of Health plans to spend $680 million in Alzheimer's research in 2004 and an estimated $699 million in 2005, a 33 percent increase from 2001. The National Institutes of Health, along with the Department of Veterans Affairs, is testing drugs for prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

This year, the National Institute on Aging launched the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, an innovative partnership with the private sector that is using the latest technologies to observe changes in the brains of individuals who are affected by Alzheimer's. This project is researching ways to enhance early diagnosis and further the development of treatments.

In addition, the Administration on Aging is working with States to improve home and community-based services for people with dementia and their families.

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