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15-05-2012 | Article

HHS launches national AD prevention, treatment plan

Abstract

National Plan – full details

MedWire News: The launch of a comprehensive national plan to combat Alzheimer's disease (AD) with increased research funding, training of clinicians, caregiver support and public awareness has been announced by US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.

Details of the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease were released at an AD summit hosted by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

The plan has five specific, overarching goals:

* Prevention and effective treatment of AD by 2025

* Optimization of AD care quality and efficiency

* Expansion of patient and caregiver support

* Enhancement of public awareness and engagement

* Tracking of progress and driving improvement.

The initiative includes NIH support to the tune of $ 7.9 million for a clinical trial of an insulin nasal spray for treating AD, and $ 16 million for a prevention trial in people who are at the highest risk for the disease due to genetic factors.

HHS, through its geriatric education centers, is furnishing an additional $2 million in funding for training clinicians how to recognize the signs and symptoms of AD and most effectively manage patients with the disease.

The plan includes a new website, www.alzheimers.gov, designed as a central clearinghouse for AD patients and caregivers.

"The site is a gateway to reliable, comprehensive information from federal, state, and private organizations on a range of topics. Visitors to the site will find plain language information and tools to identify local resources that can help with the challenges of daily living, emotional needs, and financial issues related to dementia. Video interviews with real family caregivers explain why information is key to successful caregiving, in their own words," according to an HHS statement.

A television public awareness campaign introducing the new site is slated for launch in the coming months.

"These actions are the cornerstones of an historic effort to fight Alzheimer's disease. This is a national plan - not a federal one, because reducing the burden of Alzheimer's will require the active engagement of both the public and private sectors," Sebelius said in the statement.

By Neil Osterweil