Alzheimer's Advisory Council evaluates progress implementing National Alzheimer's Plan
The Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services met to evaluate the implementation of the first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease to date and discuss highlights of the 2013 National Plan Update expected to be released mid-May. The Advisory Council also heard a presentation on the priorities set during last spring's research summit and the milestones for achieving the goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025.
"With a goal as critical as preventing and effectively treating Alzheimer's by 2025, we have focused on identifying the intermediary steps that will lead to success. What's clear is that to take even the initial steps, we must provide researchers the necessary funds," said Harry Johns, president and CEO of the Alzheimer's Association and member of the Advisory Council. "The development of the National Alzheimer's Plan was a monumental step, but now there must be accountability with resources to implement the plan."
Today there are more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer's disease and 15.4 million friends and family members providing care, often at the expense of their own health. While the human toll is alarming, the economic costs pose a significant threat to the nation as well, rising from $203 billion today to more than $1.2 trillion by midcentury. Globally, there are approximately 36 million people living with Alzheimer's or another dementia. The Advisory Council also heard presentations from international partners on their efforts to address Alzheimer's disease.
Last week, the Alzheimer's Association held its 25th Advocacy Forum with more than 900 advocates from all 50 states gathering in D.C. to learn, share and appeal to their elected officials. As they stormed Capitol Hill draped in purple sashes to meet with their legislators, Ashley Campbell, daughter of country music legend Glen Campbell, testified before the Senate Aging Committee about her family's experience. Glen Campbell and the family were honored the night before with the Eunice and Sargent Shriver Profiles in Dignity award at the National Alzheimer's Dinner.
"The Alzheimer's epidemic is gaining momentum. And with Alzheimer's recently identified as the nation's most expensive disease, it's now clear to everyone that we can no longer afford to ignore it," said Johns. "We are at the doorstep to critically needed progress. How quickly we achieve it directly depends on the resources allocated."
The Alzheimer's Association looks forward to a strong update to the National Alzheimer's Plan next month.
The Alzheimer's Association is the world's leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit www.alz.org.