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Alzheimer's Foundation of America Holds Fifth Annual National Memory Screening Day
Date:10/23/2007

nings was underscored recently in New York and California, where both state legislatures passed resolutions designating November 13 as the state's official memory screening day.

The New York State resolution called memory screenings "a safe and cost-effective intervention to direct at-risk individuals to appropriate clinical resources," and noted that "recent advancements in scientific research have demonstrated the benefits of early medical treatment for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, as well as the benefits of early access to counseling and other support services for their caretakers."

According to John Wesson Ashford, Jr., M.D., senior research scientist at the Stanford/VA Aging Clinical Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, and chairman of AFA's Memory Screening Advisory Board, "Memory screening is one of the best tools to detect Alzheimer's disease or another problem that is causing memory loss. Impaired memory can be an indicator of many other conditions as well. The key is to find the root of the problem."

"However," he added, "we should be forward thinking to see how to optimize our memory, and keep track of it and try to improve it, both as an early indicator of disease and to improve our success and enjoyment in the world."

In addition, the need for further education about Alzheimer's disease was highlighted recently in an AFA survey showing that ethnic groups mistakenly think that Alzheimer's disease is a normal part of the aging process. The survey - Investigating Caregivers' Attitudes and Needs (ICAN) - conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of AFA, found that Hispanic and African-American caregivers were significantly more likely to dismiss the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease as old age, compared to caregivers of other races.

AFA urges anyone concerned about changes in their memory or other mental functions to visit a local screening site. Warning signs include: forgetting people's names and events, asking repetit
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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