Obama Admin. Starts Alzheimer's Research Plan

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The U.S. government wants to find effective treatments for Alzheimer's by 2025.

The Obama administration announced Tuesday it's developing America's first National Alzheimer's Plan to address the medical and social impact of dementia.

"What's really important here is a comprehensive plan that deals with the needs of people who already have the disease," Alzheimer's Association president Harry Johns said.

Johns will serve as one of the advisers for the plan. Dr. Ron Petersen, an Alzheimer's specialist at the Mayo Clinic, will lead the effort.

Panel members are still working with the administration to finalize the plan, but a draft sets 2025 as a target year for developing proven ways to delay or even prevent Alzheimer's.

Today's treatments are generally slow and only temporarily ease dementia symptoms.

Goals of the national plan include:

  • Start a national public awareness campaign of dementia signs and symptoms.
  • Provide doctors with tools needed to assess signs of dementia as part of Medicare's annual check-up.
  • Improve care-planning and training for families of those with the dementia.

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