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New Study Disputes Ongoing Controversy Over Memory Screenings
Date:12/9/2008

Report Cites Proven Benefits, Calls for National Dementia Screening Policy

NEW YORK, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --As the nation faces a public health crisis related to Alzheimer's disease, anew report released today by the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) disputes an ongoing controversy over the value and utilization of memory screenings. The report shatters unsubstantiated criticism and instead emphasizes the safety and cost-effectiveness of these tools and calls on Congress to develop a national dementia screening policy.

The study, entitled "Memory Matters," sheds light on the debate as the nation's aging population, which is most at risk for the chronic brain disease, is booming, and as Americans in general are anxious about healthcare concerns and costs.

"This is a real world problem of escalating proportions that requires real world solutions," said Richard E. Powers, M.D., chairman of AFA's Medical Advisory Board and one of the authors of the report. "Our nation must elevate age-related health issues to a high priority, and memory screenings need to be a critical part of that discussion."

Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and CEO, said the report serves as a "wake up call" to the public and medical professionals, as well as to policymakers.

"Lifting the barriers to early detection is long overdue," Hall said. "Conversations about brain health are not taking place. We must educate and empower consumers to talk openly about memory concerns, particularly with primary care providers, so they get the attention and quality of life they deserve."

The release of the report comes just in time for holiday gatherings -- a time when many families recognize changes, or possible warning signs of dementia, in their loved ones. Awareness of warning signs is not a substitute for a structured sc
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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