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New Alzheimer's Disease Survey Reveals Disparities Between Beliefs and Behavior in Pursuing Diagnosis
Date:9/24/2008

Results Indicate the Need for Adults Age 55 and Over to Know the Signs of Alzheimer's and Take Immediate Action Once Symptoms are Suspected

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite overwhelming support for early Alzheimer's disease (AD) screening and detection, there are striking differences between intentions and actual behavior, according to a new online survey of 1,040 adults age 55 and over titled, "Alzheimer's Disease: Current Attitudes, Perceptions and Knowledge." Nearly 95 percent agree that they would encourage a loved one to seek early diagnosis upon suspecting signs of AD. However, of the 34 percent who previously thought a loved one had the disease, only about one-quarter prompted that person to take an AD screener and less than 40 percent encouraged initiating a conversation with his or her doctor.

The survey also found that more than 90 percent of adults age 55 and over are unable to identify the difference between early disease symptoms, late disease symptoms and symptoms unrelated to AD, despite the fact that 78 percent believe they could recognize signs of the disease in themselves or a loved one.

The online survey was conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the Alzheimer's Disease Screening Discussion Group (ADSDG), a consortium of multi-disciplinary experts in AD and senior health. The ADSDG issued a consensus statement in November 2007, recommending routine memory screenings for Americans 65 years of age and older and encouraging increased public education about AD. This year, the group commissioned this national survey as a next step to better understand public perceptions, attitudes and knowledge about the disease, screening and diagnosis. Both the survey and the ADSDG were sponsored by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc.

"Last year the Alzheimer's Disease Screening Discussion Group encouraged seniors to become more familiar with the first signs of Alzheimer's in order to facilitate earlier screeni
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SOURCE Alzheimer?s Disease Screening Discussion Group
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