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New Alzheimer's Disease Survey Reveals Children of Sandwich Caregivers Assist With Loved Ones' Care
Date:3/26/2008

portantly, what to do in these cases."

"Proper diagnosis and treatment are crucial," said Dr. Blake. "Symptoms -- loss of function, decline in cognitive ability and difficult behavior -- can be delayed and caregiver burden reduced through medication therapy, which may include combining medications from two FDA-approved Alzheimer's medication classes." The survey found that 77% of sandwich caregivers were not aware that combination drug therapy can be used to treat Alzheimer's disease.

The survey also showed that individuals received a delayed diagnosis -- typically for two years. Caregivers who care for a loved one whose diagnosis was delayed for a year or more say the delay was most often due to lack of caregiver familiarity with symptoms or insufficient knowledge about Alzheimer's disease, with about half saying that they thought Alzheimer's symptoms were normal signs of aging.

ABOUT ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks the brain's nerve cells, resulting in loss of memory, thinking and language skills, and behavioral changes. It is estimated that more than five million Americans currently have Alzheimer's disease, including one in ten persons aged 65 and older and nearly half of those 85 or older. Published reports project that by 2050 this number could more than triple -- to more than 16 million people -- in the United States.

Early signs can include forgetfulness, memory loss, misplacing things, and disorientation. Symptoms of moderate Alzheimer's disease can include difficulty identifying familiar people, places or things, restlessness, sleep disturbances, poor judgment or difficulty with reasoning, aggression or agitation, inappropriate behavior, increased difficulty with everyday activities, losing touch with reality, suspiciousness or paranoia, and hallucinations.

ABOUT THE SURVEY

The third ICAN: Investigating Caregivers' Attitudes and Needs survey was co
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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