Burden Of Care For Alzheimer’s Disease Rising Fast

Neurodegenerative Disease The Fastest-Growing Cause Of Death

Someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds. There were an estimated 46.8 million people worldwide living with dementia diagnoses in 2015 and this number is believed to be close to 50 million people in 2017. This number will almost double every 20 years, reaching 75 million in 2030 and 131.5 million in 2050. The X factor is the number of people who have dementia, but have not been diagnosed. It’s estimated that the real number is drastically higher.

Much of the increase will be in developing countries. Already 58 percent of people with dementia live in low and middle income countries, but by 2050 this will rise to 68 percent.

The total estimated worldwide cost of dementia is US$818 billion in 2015, which represents 1.09 percent of global GDP. By 2018, the global cost of dementia will rise above a US$1 trillion.

This figure includes costs attributed to informal care (unpaid care provided by family and others), direct costs of social care (provided by community care professionals, and in residential home settings) and the direct costs of medical care (the costs of treating dementia and other conditions in primary and secondary care).

In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that Alzheimer’s disease is already costing citizens $277 billion annually, including $186 billion in Medicare and Medicaid payments. 

Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease as recorded on death certificates increased 123 percent, while deaths from the number one cause of death (heart disease) decreased 11 percent. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease isn’t always diagnosed and it isn’t accurately reported as the cause of death in the majority of cases. Eighty-three percent of the help provided to older adults in the United States comes from family members, friends or other unpaid caregivers. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to older adults do so for someone with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia.

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Direct medical care costs account for roughly 20 percent of global dementia costs, while direct social sector costs and informal care costs each account for roughly 40 percent. The relative contribution of informal care is greatest in the African regions and lowest in North America, Western Europe and some South American regions, while the reverse is true for social sector costs.

This means that if global dementia care were a country, it would be the 18th largest economy in the world. The annual costs exceed the market values of companies such as Apple (US $742 billion) and Google (US $368 billion).

Research shows that most people currently living with dementia have not received a formal diagnosis. In high income countries, only 20-50 percent of dementia cases are recognised and documented in primary care. This ‘treatment gap’ is certainly much greater in low and middle income countries, with one study in India suggesting 90 percent remain undiagnosed. If these statistics are extrapolated to other countries worldwide, it suggests that approximately three quarters of people with dementia have not received a diagnosis, and therefore do not have access to treatment, care and organized support that getting a formal diagnosis can provide.

Earlier diagnosis and early intervention are important mechanisms by which the treatment gap can be closed. Among all people alive today, if those who will get Alzheimer’s disease were diagnosed when they had mild cognitive impairment (MCI) — before dementia — it would save trillions of dollars in health and long-term care costs.

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Crossbow Communications specializes in issue management and public affairs. Alzheimer’s disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, chronic wasting disease and the prion disease epidemic is an area of special expertise. Please contact Gary Chandler to join our coalition for reform gary@crossbow1.com.

Switzerland Hosts International Summit On Alzheimer’s Disease

Accelerating Alzheimer’s Disease Research

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. The main barriers to the development of effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease are an incomplete understanding of the disease, fragmented resources, and challenges with the design and implementation of clinical trials. Experts gathered at a two day meeting in Lausanne to discuss future steps to address dwindling product pipelines and to increase the productivity of drug development processes.

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Alzheimer’s disease is an increasing challenge. As our global population ages, the prevalence of the disease will skyrocket.  By 2050, experts estimate that 135 million people around the world will live with Alzheimer’s disease and the largest impact will be felt in low and-middle income countries.

At the workshop of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), entitled “Enhancing Translational Research and Clinical Development in Alzheimer’s Disease and other Dementia: The Way Forward,” hosted by The Swiss Government and in cooperation with The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) and Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), participants shared ideas on how to ramp up drug and diagnostics development. The goal is to accelerate the translation of innovative research into effective therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Important opportunities include, for example, new clinical trial designs, a global clinical trial platform, and flexible regulatory processes. Treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease represents a cornerstone of current biomedical research and health innovation strategies.

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The workshop is a follow-up event to the OECD Workshop on “Better Health through Biomedicine: Innovative Governance” that took place in Berlin, Germany in 2010.

“The OECD member states identified as key questions that need to be further addressed international collaboration towards more innovative research and adequate governance models to foster drug development. Neurodegenerative diseases and in particular Alzheimer’s Disease, which have become a major challenge for R &D and public health, are on the focus of the Lausanne workshop” stated Isabella Beretta, Chair of the OECD Working Party on Biotechnology and representative of the Swiss State Secretariat of Education, Research and Innovation.

Today’s meeting in Lausanne provided a unique opportunity for governments, international organizations, regulators, leading researchers, and the pharmaceutical industry to examine the challenges and opportunities and to encourage a move for greater innovation and collaboration. The output of the meeting will form the basis for a continuing dialogue among all stakeholders regarding the path forward in the development of safe and effective therapies to address this global unmet need. Plans for a follow-up meeting are currently underway.

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“The meeting produced an important dialogue regarding the challenges we face as we all work together in the shared effort to identify a disease-modifying drug by 2025,” stated Dirk Pilat, Deputy Director, Directorate for Science, Technology & Innovation at the OECD.  “OECD countries account for nearly half the global cases of dementia today and have a particular responsibility in accelerating efforts in the research, development and evaluation of innovative therapies and diagnostics.”

“This meeting is historic. It’s the first time that regulators, industry, scientists and patient advocates have gathered globally to tackle Alzheimer’s and dementia. We need more of these collaborations, reminiscent of HIV/AIDS meetings in the 1980s, if we are going to find a cure or prevention,” said George Vradenburg, Convener of the CEOi.  “Regulatory agencies across the globe are our partners in this fight and innovative regulatory models are needed to ensure that we can help those living with Alzheimer’s disease today and stop the disease for future generations.”

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“If we speed up the drug development process by one year potentially 8 million more people with dementia will have access to a new treatment,” said Marc Wortmann, Executive Director of Alzheimer’s Disease International. “One of the things we can do is engage people living with dementia and their care partners more into the process and learn from them how to make research participation more dementia-friendly. That will bring more people into the trials.”

“Dementia is a healthcare policy challenge and Switzerland has approved a National Dementia Strategy 2014-2017,” said Tania Dussey-Cavassini, Ambassador for Global Health, Vice-Director General of Swiss Federal Office of Public Health.

“Switzerland is committed to work with national and international partners and industry and promoting collaboration in the fight against dementia,” added Isabella Beretta.

“Innovation is shaped through conversation and the conversation here at this meeting continues us down the right path of stopping Alzheimer’s by 2025,” said Dr. Dennis Gillings, World Dementia Envoy. “But if we don’t address the barriers in accelerating translation of innovation to therapies for patients we will not reach our goal.”

The meeting organizers and participants committed to continuing the dialogue and will reconvene to assess progress in a follow-up forum in 2015.

ADI is the international federation of 84 Alzheimer associations throughout the world.  Each of our members is a non-profit Alzheimer association supporting people with dementia and their families.  ADI was founded in 1984 and registered as a non-profit organisation in the USA.  Based in London, ADI has been in official relations with the WHO since 1996 and has had consultative status with the UN since 2012.

ADI’s vision is an improved quality of life for people with dementia and their families throughout the world. ADI believes that the key to winning the fight against dementia lies in a unique combination of global solutions and local knowledge. As such, it works locally, by empowering Alzheimer associations to promote and offer care and support for people with dementia and their family carers, while working globally to focus attention on dementia and campaign for policy change from governments.

The Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease (CEOi) is a patient-powered industry coalition of private-sector leaders who have joined together to provide business leadership in the fight against Alzheimer’s. The CEO Initiative seeks to partner with public leaders to transform the disease from a social, health, and economic crisis into an opportunity for healthy aging and innovation in research and care.  In this era of aging populations, The CEO Initiative believes that it will take visionary, action-oriented leadership of public and private leaders working together to solve our greatest challenges.

The creation of a World Dementia Council was one of the main commitments made at the G8 dementia summit in December 2013. The council aims to stimulate innovation, development and commercialization of life enhancing drugs, treatments and care for people with dementia, or at risk of dementia, within a generation. It will do this by providing independent, non-governmental advocacy and global leadership.  The views expressed by the council will be independent of any government and not representative of government policy. The World Dementia Council met for the first time on April 30, 2014 to develop a global agenda to fight Alzheimer’s disease.

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Alzheimer’s Disease Taking Heavy Financial Toll On Families

Families, Patients Taxed By Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia patients and their families are being hit by a ‘care tax’ of more than £20,000 (or about US$25,000) a year, research has revealed. They are forced to ‘break the bank’ to pay for extra basic help from their own pockets because it is not provided by local authorities.

On top of that, relatives are having to undertake everyday tasks such as washing, feeding and dressing which often forces them to give up jobs. It is now estimated that of the £26 billion a year cost of dementia to the UK, patients and their families are picking up two-thirds of the amount – about £17.4 billion.

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The London School of Economics was commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Society to calculate the care burden – and found that the average dementia patient and their relatives are hit by a ‘tax’ of £21,322 a year.

The figure includes £7,085 to pay for private carers on top of an estimated £14,237 in unpaid care provided by family members themselves. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt accepted that the costs were ‘unfair’ to families and promised to provide more financial help to families.

He said: ‘I want to make sure those with dementia, their families and carers get the help they need. It’s precisely because people face such unfair care costs that we are transforming the way people pay for care, capping the amount they have to pay and providing more financial help.’

Jeremy Hughes, chief executive of the Alzheimer’s Society, said it was wrong that patients had to pay for their own care when those with cancer or heart disease had care provided free by the NHS.

‘This new research exposes the staggering financial and human impact of dementia,’ he said. ‘It is plain to see that our social care system is on its knees, leaving an army of tens of thousands of unpaid carers bearing the brunt.

‘If you have cancer or heart disease you can quite rightly expect that the care you need will be free. That is just not the case for people with dementia.

‘Families are forced to break the bank to pay for basic care for a loved one.’

Problems arise because home care is not provided by the NHS but by local councils – whose budgets have been slashed, forcing many families to pick up the tab for private care themselves.

By contrast, patients with heart disease or cancer are assured of free care on the NHS – because health budgets have been protected from cuts.

The research also found that an estimated 225,000 people in the UK develop the condition every year – or one person every three minutes. This means that by next year, 850,000 patients will have the condition, rising to two million by 2051.

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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2750479/Thousands-patients-dementia-paying-unfair-TAX-NHS-doesn-t-cover-cost-care-charity-says.html#ixzz3D80BsVKQ

Alzheimer’s Epidemic Worse Than Statistics Indicate

Caregivers Often Overwhelmed By Demands, Costs

Sara Schupp hasn’t seen her mother in a while. She hopes to someday soon, but for now, it’s the difference between crying on the way to work every day for a week and functioning like a normal 34-year-old. Her mother, Bernadette LandiVittori, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2001. The family decided to move her to the Morton Terrace Care Center in January 2013. Schupp visited many times at first, but a little more than a year later, it’s been too much for her to take.

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Her mother weighs 100 pounds. She doesn’t know who her daughter is, even when they are in the same room. Thirty-four years of Schupp’s life have vanished from her mother’s memory.

“I want to be that courageous person. I want to be that person who goes to see her, and I have a lot of guilt because of it,” Schupp said. “I cannot physically bring myself to drive there right now. I’m hoping that will change, and I’ll be that strong person. But right now, I can’t do it.”

Schupp’s experience with the disease was unusual in that her mother was diagnosed at age 54, when her daughter was just a senior in college. However, according to a report released in March by the Alzheimer’s Association national office, her experience may become more common as increasing numbers of seniors are being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and there is currently still no cure.

Alzheimer’s is the sixth-deadliest disease in the United States, but even that’s a naive statistic, said central Illinois Alzheimer’s Association Executive Director Nikki Vulgaris-Rodriguez. It’s more likely the third-deadliest disease nationally when causes of death, like pneumonia, are viewed as the results of Alzheimer’s degenerative nature, she said.

For women age 65 and older, the numbers are more alarming as two-thirds of the cases are women. One in six women in their 60s is likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, according to the report.

The financial toll of the disease is also burdening the nation, the report states. It estimates that Alzheimer’s will cost Medicare and Medicaid a combined $150 billion in 2014 for the 5 million Americans living with the disease. The Association predicts that once the Baby Boomer generation reaches the age of greatest risk for dementia in the coming decade, an astronomical rise in these numbers will occur.

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Alzheimer’s advocacy groups say they want to impart on the public and politicians that the disease costs billions of dollars and is underfunded by the U.S. government when compared to HIV/AIDS, cancer and heart disease.

“We have a very active advocacy program for both the federal and state levels,” Vulgaris-Rodriguez said. “We’re constantly out there with our volunteer ambassadors to help be a voice for our population in the Alzheimer’s community.”

Schupp recently stepped into that volunteer ambassador role for the 18th Congressional District in Illinois. She has met with aides of U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock and hopes to meet Schock in person this summer to discuss the increasing need for more funding and better research of Alzheimer’s.

Becoming an advocate was difficult for Schupp after watching her mother lose herself to the disease over the course of nearly 13 years. Fresh off of graduation from Southern Illinois University when her parents informed her of her mother’s diagnosis, Schupp experienced denial and took the approach that everything was normal.

And her caregiving role was minor as her father, Lamonte LandiVittori, assumed daily care for his wife. Schupp was allowed to devote herself to her career and starting her own family while her father cared for her mother.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

For three weeks in 2010, Schupp stepped into her father’s shoes while he was recovering from heart surgery, taking both parents into her home. She couldn’t believe the stress, strain and emotion of those three weeks.

“I don’t know how my dad did it for so long,” Schupp said. “I think it’s taken an extreme physical and emotional toll on him.”

Lamonte LandiVittori now has stage four colon cancer. Schupp can’t prove it, but she believes the stress of the past decade contributed to his condition.

The struggle with Alzheimer’s greatly affects caregivers, said Vulgaris-Rodriguez, who recommends anyone taking on that role to take advantage of the support groups offered by the local Alzheimer’s Association.

“It does happen,” Vulgaris-Rodriguez said. “Our support programs give the caregiver an understanding of the stress level so they can manage their own stress.”

Looking back from what is now the final chapter in her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s, Schupp urges those dealing with the disease to seek out those support groups — something she did not do. Those groups might have told her what she knows now 13 years later.

“In that first year, spend as much quality time with that person as possible,” Schupp said.

No such time exists at the end.

Source: http://www.pjstar.com/article/20140531/News/140539935#ixzz33Oek3TDC

Alzheimer’s Disease Support Model Could Save States Millions

Cost-Effective Model For Alzheimer’s Care

As states eye strategies to control the costs of caring for Alzheimer’s disease patients, a New York model is drawing interest, and findings from a study of Minnesota’s effort to replicate it shows it could lead to significant savings and improved services.

The New York University Caregiver Intervention (NYUCI) program offers caregivers six sessions of individual and family counseling within four months of enrollment, the opportunity to participate in a weekly support group and telephone counseling when needed. Minnesota mimicked that effort with a five-year pilot program offered to 228 participating caregivers in urban and rural areas.

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The study, published in the April Health Affairs, found the Minnesota program could save $966 million by 2025 if it were implemented state-wide. Cost savings were mainly achieved by keeping Alzheimer’s patients in the community and at home. The authors found that 5 percent more people would stay in these settings if the project was expanded, and 19.3 percent fewer people with dementia would die in an institution.

“These findings suggest that broader access to enhanced caregiver supports could produce a positive return on investment or be cost-effective—assuming widespread implementation, reasonable program costs and substantial caregiver participation,” study authors write.

Mary Mittelman, a research professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine, said at a briefing Wednesday on the study that NYUCI reduced caregiver depression and postponed nursing home placement for a year and a half. Although the Minnesota pilot demonstrated savings, it was costly to train counselors, she said, but added that program architects are planning to use web-based training format going forward.

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Gail Hunt, president and CEO of the National Alliance for Caregiving, suggested at the briefing that such a model should look at using workers without degrees, who are recruited for humanistic qualities and can act as a patient and caregiver supporter.

“The role is to deal with the family, part of it is listening and being an ombudsman, they’re a navigator, and can use medical records to enter assessments,” she said, adding that the person could be an immediate contact during off-hours when the family has to make a decision about going to the emergency room or a doctor’s office.

Source: http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/index.php/2014/04/alzheimers-disease-support-model-could-save-minn-millions?utm_campaign=KHN%3A+Topic-based&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=12718240&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–qrbVSmsYZlB10Br6740XZpI9TToOGR1DOQTc9mIFCgHr-8BUO3vj6q9m6dEsB6dy72s-3sehU_tI7EL3l60cgooIJFQ&_hsmi=12718240

Alzheimer’s Disease A Global Threat

Alzheimer’s Epidemic Could Be Much Worse Than Reported 

Editor’s Note: More than 50 million people around the world already have deadly Alzheimer’s disease. It’s the only major cause of death in the world that is on the rise. The epidemic is spreading fast and there are no answers in sight. Global leaders are mobilizing to tackle the issue. Unfortunately, hope is elusive, but some steps can be taken to stop spreading prion disease from infected people, wildlife and livestock. That’s right, mad cow disease and chronic wasting disease are related to Alzheimer’s disease. There is no such thing as a species barrier when it comes to prion disease. All forms of the disease spread through the bodily fluids of infected victims and very little is being done to stop this exposure.

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The G8 took monumental strides in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease recently when it met in London to solidify a global movement against dementia. British Prime Minister David Cameron remarked that the event may become the day that “the global fight-back really started.” The G8 aligned to the U.S.’s goal of beating Alzheimer’s by 2025, and the world’s eight richest countries made commitments that were larger than anticipated.

After the G8 event, it seems that the world is finally getting serious about beating a disease that has been rightly identified as the 21st century’s “ticking-time bomb.” It is now well recognized that Alzheimer’s is no longer “the rich world’s problem,” and the G8 is spearheading a movement that is designed to become — and must become — truly global.

This is largely driven by demographics. At the moment, the G8 nations are some of the world’s “oldest.” Because Alzheimer’s correlates to age — affecting one-in-eight people over 65 and nearly one-in-two over 85 — the increase in human life spans in G8 nations is driving rates of Alzheimer’s.

But the developing world is not far behind. Over the past 50 years, life spans have doubled in dozens of nations around the world, and longevity that was once unique to the world’s most privileged nations is becoming the global norm. The most rapid increases in incidences of Alzheimer’s are occurring in low- and middle-income nations.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

It is of tremendous consequence that the G8 has sounded the clarion, but its commitments to action must be enforced, practical and goal-oriented follow-through is needed. To this end, two key questions arise: What can be done to move the conversation from the G8 to the larger family of nations and peoples affected by Alzheimer’s? And what is the immediate and longer-term action-oriented agenda to execute against the G8 commitments?

To globalize the conversation, the OECD and the WHO are going to be absolutely essential. Each played a critical role at the G8 event, and each organization demonstrated how and why it can become an effective global leader.

The OECD is ideally suited to extend the conversation outside the G8 and to other key global powers like China and India. The OECD has already shown leadership in addressing questions of finances and innovations that are needed to beat the disease. Now, it can work alongside the G8 to cascade the global agenda through BRICS and deeper into the private sector.

The WHO is equally critical due to its unique reach and influence in lower income nations. In many places outside the G8 and OECD, Alzheimer’s is still seen as a natural, inevitable part of aging, and the stigma against the disease prohibits adequate assessment and treatment. The WHO has already taken notable steps to improve the situation, but there ismuch more to be done, as we are, according to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, “empty handed” in “terms of a cure, or even a treatment.” Working with other advocacy and philanthropic organizations, the WHO can take immediate action by calling on all WHO member nations to adopt a National Dementia Plan — at the moment only 13 of 194 member nations have such a plan.

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While the OECD and WHO can globalize the fight against Alzheimer’s, it is imperative to adhere to and drive towards specific priorities. To this end, during a convening by the Global CEO Initiative on Alzheimer’s disease (CEOi) of a diverse group of industry, academia, government and non-governmental organizations immediately following the G8 summit, six key action items emerged, including:

  1. Developing a global Alzheimer’s clinical trial platform that reduces the time, cost, and risk of drug testing, as well as advances the scientific understanding of disease pathogenesis and increases capacity and efficiency of clinical trials.
  2. Developing innovative financial models that increase private financial and philanthropic investment in Alzheimer’s disease discovery, drug development and infrastructure, as well as care delivery.
  3. Leveraging technological innovation in tools and Big Data techniques to advance Alzheimer’s disease research, patient engagement, and care delivery.
  4. Improving care practices globally to be more family centered and outcome oriented.
  5. Setting international norms on national efforts to plan and take action to address Alzheimer’s;
  6. Creating global standards for regulatory pathways of Alzheimer’s treatments.

Each of these goals requires a solution that inherently global. As nations, we have worked within our borders long enough, and the G8 is absolutely right to insist on the global nature of these goals.

While these are exactly the right goals for national governments, industry, science, and other stakeholders to be working towards, it could be argued that these goals overlook the present to focus on the future. This claim does have certain merit. We have both to act now on immediate issues of care but act now, as well, to drive with greater urgency toward a future cure.

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Work can be done at the present on local and national levels to create better methods of care. The overly institutionalized model of care that presides today is both impersonal and inefficient. At the G8 event, the UK shared insights into a plan that it is developing, in which bus drivers, bank tellers, and other public-facing professionals will learn to better identify and assist persons with dementia, so that those with cognitive and functional impairments feel confident that they can participate in public life and not remain cabined at home. Such a program is low-cost, immediate-impact, and stigma-reducing — and it creates a model of front-line care that can be mimicked in countless other nations throughout the world.

For the cynic, it could be easy to chalk up the G8 event as just another wonky get-together in which high-flying rhetoric stood in for concrete action. This critique will be exactly right if we do not drive action-oriented follow-through from the event. But, as an optimist, I look forward to an international conference in 2025 when we refer back to “the spirit of London.”

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/george-vradenburg/catalyzing-the-landmark-g8-commitment_b_4489405.html

Dementia Epidemic Already Testing European Systems

Alzheimer’s Epidemic Gaining Ground In Scandinavia

By Mr. Joseph Cuschieri, Labour Head of Delegation in the European Parliament and a member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance.  

One of my engagements as a member of the European Parliament is my work in support of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance. Dementia is a challenge for all member states of the European Union and, in my opinion, it is an issue that should be prioritized by the European institutions.

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I recently hosted a meeting of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance in Brussels to discuss the different dimensions of this condition from a European perspective.

It was a pleasure to have Mr. Jean Georgee, Executive Director of Alzheimer Europe, as a keynote speaker at the event. He spoke about the objectives and findings of Dementia Monitor, which should inform and enlighten policy makers, activists and practitioners involved in this field.

In addition, the Alzheimer Europe Conference held in Malta in October was an important occasion for over 400 participants active in this field to come together and discuss different aspects of the challenges linked to dementia. Over a 100 presentations by dementia experts from 23 countries were made and around 60 researchers and academics shared their findings.

Alzheimer’s disease presents a significant challenge for Europe. When one considers the fact that seven million people in Europe have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia this is a clear indication that Alzheimer’s disease should be an important policy focus from an institutional point of view.

Besides, according to forecasts, it is expected to increase in the coming years and globally it is estimated that there will be more than four million new cases of dementia each year. There are currently over 4,500 persons with dementia in Malta and this figure is expected to rise progressively over the next 10 years to 6,000.

The impact on health and social services is immense and it is very important that we ensure that the right action is taken to address the situation.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

Dementia also affects some 21 million informal caregivers in Europe. It is a complex condition and there are no straightforward causes to it and no clear way to prevent it. There is no cure but there are treatments that delay the onset of the disease that can improve the quality of life of individuals.

There are several forms of dementia. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common, accounting for between 50 and 70% of patients. Ageing increases the risk of dementia because the risk of dementia doubles every five years after the age of 65.

It is also important to address the misconceptions about dementia. The disease does not only affect old people. With early onset dementia, it also affects people below the age of 65. Nevertheless, with an ageing population in Europe, the number of people with dementia will increase significantly. By 2030, the number of Europeans over 65 will rise by nearly 40 percent.

Family is another central point of the equation. A lot of the informal care is provided by family members and the overall number of informal carers is under pressure too due to low birth rates, smaller families, greater physical distances between relatives, the rising number of women entering the labour market as well as an increasingly prolonged working life.

Cost is another important aspect and dementia is an expensive disease. According to data from the Alzheimer Europe EuroCoDe project, the total direct cost of formal and informal care is €21,000 per patient every year. Fifty-six percent of this goes to informal care.

There are many differences in access to diagnosis, treatment and care between the member states. This makes it imperative on member states to collaborate and co-ordinate their approaches together.

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It is important to compare and benchmark how EU countries deal with the rising number of people with dementia. Although awareness about the challenges has improved and actions have been taken, we should not be complacent. A lot still needs to be done and it is imperative that citizens and authorities in all member states are aware of the challenges. It is important that European institutions and governments around Europe collaborate actively with Alzheimer associations on the ground with a view to finding active solutions.

Mr. Cuschieri is the Labour Head of Delegation in the European Parliament, and a member of the European Alzheimer’s Alliance.

For more information, please visit: www.AlzheimerTreatment.info

Alzheimer’s Treatment Costs Soaring

Rising Diagnoses Will Bankrupt Families

A new report from Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts that by 2050, 110 million people worldwide with have Alzheimer’s, up from 35 million today. The burden of caring for victims falls heavily on ill-prepared families, CNN reports.

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“When Jim was diagnosed,” CNN reported that his wife, Karen Garner, “was a ‘woman on fire,’ talking about Alzheimer’s all the time, asking Jim about his bucket list, encouraging him to write letters and tape videos for their kids. But as time, and his disease, progress, her life has become a day-to-day struggle to live peacefully in the moment.”

Jim was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at 48.

“It would be a little bit easier if he would just decline quickly and get it over with,” Karen Garner told CNN. “But unfortunately, Alzheimer’s doesn’t work that way.”

“Because of the progressive nature of the disease and the length of its duration, Alzheimer’s care needs only escalate, often to the point of impacting the caregiver’s own health,” Angela Geiger, chief strategy officer of the Alzheimer’s Association, said in a statement.

“The Alzheimer’s Association urges families to pursue early diagnosis and create a care management plan, ideally when the person diagnosed can still participate, so that everyone can plan for the future and take advantage of available resources.”

The Alzheimer’s Disease International offers information on Alzheimer’s, support and resources.

Source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865586949/Cost-to-treat-Alzheimers-Disease-expected-to-soar.html

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Obama Team Presents National Plan To Fight Alzheimer’s

National Alzheimer’s Disease Project Act

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released an ambitious national plan to fight Alzheimer’s disease. The plan was called for in the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), which President Obama signed into law in January 2011. The National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease sets forth five goals, including the development of effective prevention and treatment approaches for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias by 2025.

Alzheimers disease epidemic

In February 2012, the administration announced that it would take immediate action to implement parts of the plan, including making additional funding available in fiscal year 2012 to support research, provider education and public awareness. Today, the Secretary announced additional specific actions, including the funding of two major clinical trials, jumpstarted by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) infusion of additional FY 2012 funds directed at Alzheimer’s disease; the development of new high-quality, up-to-date training and information for our nation’s clinicians; and a new public education campaign and website to help families and caregivers find the services and support they need.

To help accelerate this urgent work, the President’s proposed FY 2013 budget provides a $100 million increase for efforts to combat Alzheimer’s disease. These funds will support additional research ($80 million), improve public awareness of the disease ($4.2 million), support provider education programs ($4.0 million), invest in caregiver support ($10.5 million), and improve data collection ($1.3 million).

“These actions are the cornerstones of an historic effort to fight Alzheimer’s disease,” Secretary Sebelius said. “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.”

The plan, presented today at the Alzheimer’s Research Summit 2012: Path to Treatment and Prevention, was developed with input from experts in aging and Alzheimer’s disease issues and calls for a comprehensive, collaborative approach across federal, state, private and non-profit organizations. More than 3,600 people or organizations submitted comments on the draft plan.

food and water contamination and disease

As many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease and that number is likely to double in the coming years. At the same time, millions of American families struggle with the physical, emotional and financial costs of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease. The initiatives announced include:

  • Research – The funding of new research projects by the NIH will focus on key areas in which emerging technologies and new approaches in clinical testing now allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the disease. This research holds considerable promise for developing new and targeted approaches to prevention and treatment. Specifically, two major clinical trials are being funded. One is a $7.9 million effort to test an insulin nasal spray for treating Alzheimer’s disease. A second study, toward which NIH is contributing $16 million, is the first prevention trial in people at the highest risk for the disease.
  • Tools for Clinicians – The Health Resources and Services Administration has awarded $2 million in funding through its geriatric education centers to provide high-quality training for doctors, nurses, and other health care providers on recognizing the signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and how to manage the disease.
  • Easier access to information to support caregivers–HHS’ new website, www.alzheimers.gov, offers resources and support to those facing Alzheimer’s disease and their friends and family. 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.
  • Awareness campaign – The first new television advertisement encouraging caregivers to seek information at the new website was debuted. This media campaign will be launched this summer, reaching family members and patients in need of information on Alzheimer’s disease.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Obama administration’s continued commitment to taking action in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

caregivers Alzheimer's disease

In 2013, the National Family Caregiver Support Program will continue to provide essential services to family caregivers, including those helping loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease. This program will enable family caregivers to receive essential respite services, providing them a short break from caregiving duties, along with other essential services, such as counseling, education and support groups.

Source: https://auth.nia.nih.gov/newsroom/2012/05/obama-administration-presents-national-plan-fight-alzheimers-disease