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Alzheimer's Association Releases Report That Predicts Doubling in Number of Californians With Neurological Disorder
Date:2/25/2009

d Aging at U.C. San Francisco in consultation with the Alzheimer's Association.

Ultimately fatal, Alzheimer's disease is currently the sixth leading cause of death in California, according to the report. Compared to other leading causes of death in California, Alzheimer's disease showed the greatest increase from 2000 to 2004 at 58.3 percent.

"The incentives for California to create a State Alzheimer's Disease Plan could not be greater or more compelling," said Bill Fisher, CEO of the Alzheimer's Association, Northern California Chapter. "Our state is under tremendous financial pressure, and this report offers abundant proof of why the State must move quickly to prepare before the services required get out of control and bankrupt our systems. California has a financial stake in seeing improved treatments and prevention strategies for Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers, which is why the state must not only prepare for the future, but ensure there are no further cuts to current programs for Alzheimer's research and services."

Especially hard-hit will be many of California's ethnic populations, where Alzheimer's is often underreported and diagnosed at a later stage of the disease. Among ethnic communities, the report predicts Alzheimer's will double among African-Americans, and triple among those of Hispanic and Asian descent.

Meanwhile, the impact of the increase in Alzheimer's will carry a ripple effect on people providing care -- most significantly on family members -- and their employers. According to the report:

-- 11 percent of the nation's family caregivers live in California, where 1.1 million people are already providing unpaid care for a person with Alzheimer's or related dementia -- 75 percent of these family caregivers are women;

-- Caregivers of people with severe memory problems or dementia spend an average of nearly 54 hours a week providin
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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