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The Alzheimer's Project HBO Documentary Puts Spotlight on Alzheimer's Disease; North Dakota Family Featured
Date:4/30/2009

MINNEAPOLIS, April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alzheimer's disease is gaining awareness as its reach grows to include more than 5.3 million Americans living with the disease. Previously unknown, misunderstood or hidden in the home, people living with Alzheimer's -- along with a family from Tioga, North Dakota -- are the subjects of a new HBO documentary.

While there is no cure for the disease, The Alzheimer's Project shows there is now genuine reason to be optimistic about the future. "The Alzheimer's Association anticipates this documentary to raise new awareness and understanding of Alzheimer's and change the way people think about this disease," said Mary Birchard, Executive Director of the Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota.

The first of the four documentaries in The Alzheimer's Project is "The Memory Loss Tapes" (debuting May 10), which provides an up-close and personal look at seven individuals living with Alzheimer's, each in an advancing state of dementia across the full spectrum of the progression of the disease. "Momentum In Science" (May 11 and 12) is a two-part state-of-the-science film that takes viewers inside the laboratories and clinics of 25 leading scientists and physicians, revealing some of the most cutting-edge research advances. "'Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am?' with Maria Shriver" (May 11) captures what it means to be a child or grandchild of one with Alzheimer's, while "Caregivers" (May 12) highlights the sacrifices and successes of people who experience their loved ones' descent into dementia.

In addition to the four-part documentary are 15 short supplemental films, a robust web site and a nationwide community-based information and outreach campaign. Featured in "Momentum in Science" and in "The Supplemental Films" is the DeMoe family from Tioga, North Dakota. Using breakthrough imaging techniques, researchers are learning how Alzheimer's pathology progresses in early-onset subjects whose genetic mutation determines that they will get the disease. The segments follow the DeMoe family, five of whose six children carry the mutation, revealing the emotional and personal toll it takes.

The Alzheimer's Project is a presentation of HBO Documentary Films and the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health in association with the Alzheimer's Association(R), Fidelity(R) Charitable Gift Fund and Geoffrey Beene Gives Back(R) Alzheimer's Initiative. The series producer is John Hoffman; the executive producers are Sheila Nevins and Maria Shriver.

For more information on The Alzheimer's Project and Alzheimer's disease, go to www.alz.org/mnnd.


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SOURCE Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota
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