HEALTH

Obama implementing plan for effective Alzheimer's treatment by 2025

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The Obama administration is implementing the first-ever national Alzheimer's plan with an ambitious goal: Come up with an effective treatment and prevention of Alzheimer's by 2025.

It's a groundbreaking approach to put an end to the devastating disease which is currently the 6th leading cause of death in America. And as America ages, the prevalence of the disease is increasing rapidly.

Right now almost five-and-a-half million Americans have Alzheimer's and that number is expected to triple by 2050.

Holly Walker lost her grandmother to Alzheimer's and now her mother has it. She remember the day when her mother no longer recognized her.

"She started asking questions about Holly. 'So, how do you think Holly's doing?' It kind of caught me off-guard. I said, 'Mom, this is Holly. I'm your daughter!'"

Walker and many others are closely watching the two-day summit of experts tasked with drawing-up the first-ever national plan to tackle Alzheimer's.

"Federal, state, corporate and non-profits are all working together to find a cure for this disease," said Susan Kudla Finn with the Alzheimer's Association National Capital Area chapter.

A final plan is due this spring. Some of the suggestions include a national public awareness campaign on Alzheimer's and better support for families and caregivers.

The cost of taking care of people with Alzheimer's is staggering. Last year it was $183 billion. Most of the 15 million caregivers are relatives.

For more information on Alzheimer's, contact the Alzheimer's Association, National Capital Area chapter helpline at (800) 272-3900 or visit www.alz.org.

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