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Alzheimer's Disease to be Highlighted on Stamp Next Year

2008 Stamp Latest Addition to Postal Service Social Awareness Stamp Series

WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Postal Service will issue a stamp next year to help raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease as part of its Social Awareness stamp series, Postmaster General John Potter announced today, on the first day of both National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and National Family Caregivers Month.

"With the Alzheimer's Awareness commemorative stamp, we'll ask Americans to use the power of mail to raise awareness about this tragic disease," said Potter. "We hope to draw attention to the causes of the disease, the impact it has on individuals, caregivers and society, and how research may eventually lead to treatments that prevent or halt the progression of the disease."

For the stamp image, art director Ethel Kessler worked with illustrator Matt Mahurin to draw attention to the importance of caregivers in the lives of those who have the disease. "For the person with Alzheimer's, that interaction with the caregiver means everything," said Kessler. Three words -- care, support, research -- appear in the upper-right corner of the stamp sheet.

An estimated 5 million people are living with Alzheimer's disease in the United States. Persons suffering from Alzheimer's-related dementia have trouble carrying out daily activities. The disease initially affects the parts of the brain that control language, thought and memory. Symptoms may include asking the same question repeatedly, becoming lost in familiar places or disoriented in familiar routines, and ignoring personal safety, hygiene and nutrition. As the disease progresses, perceptual, language, functional and motor skills deteriorate.

Alzheimer's also takes an enormous toll on society, according to the Alzheimer's Association, the leading health organization in Alzheimer's research, care and support. "The cost of Alzheimer's and other dementias, including the direct costs of Medicare and Medicaid and indirect costs to business of employees who are caregivers of persons with Alzheimer's, amounts to more than $148 billion annually," said Harry Johns, Alzheimer's Association president and CEO.

The Alzheimer's Awareness commemorative stamp continues the Postal Service tradition of raising public awareness of health and social issues through its stamp program. Recent stamps have highlighted important issues such as literacy, hospice care, breast cancer awareness, AIDS awareness, organ and tissue donation, and philanthropy; and, in the case of the Breast Cancer Research stamp, helped raise funds for research.

While no official release date has been confirmed, the Alzheimer's stamp will be available for purchase in 2008. More information on this stamp and others in the 2008 stamp program will be available soon.

An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation, 146 million homes and businesses, six days a week. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world's mail.

To obtain a 300 dpi image of the stamp visit:

SOURCE U.S. Postal Service
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