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Alzheimer's Foundation of America Survey: Americans With Memory Concerns Fall Short of Talking to Doctors
Date:7/30/2008

NEW YORK, July 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An overwhelming number of Americans with memory concerns fail to report this health issue with their doctors despite visits within the past six months, according to results released today of a survey of participants in the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (AFA) National Memory Screening Day last November.

AFA announced the results at a poster session at the Alzheimer's Association's 11th International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Chicago.

"The results highlight a significant hole in our healthcare system," said Eric J. Hall, AFA's president and chief executive officer. "They re-confirm our fears that this issue is being swept under the carpet and not being talked about with professionals. An open dialogue is essential to proper diagnosis and treatment."

Richard E. Powers, M.D., chairman of AFA's Medical Advisory Board, said he is particularly concerned because the aging population is at increased risk of memory issues.

"Not all memory complaints mark Alzheimer's disease, but if they do, the earlier an individual knows, the earlier he or she can be treated, plan for the future and embrace social services support. This is a window of opportunity to delay cognitive decline and thereby improve quality of life for individuals with the disease and their families," he said.

The survey involved 2,178 adults who took advantage of free confidential memory screenings at community sites nationwide as part of AFA's National Memory Screening Day on November 13, 2007, an annual initiative aimed at promoting proper detection of memory concerns, including Alzheimer's disease and related dementia, and providing education about memory issues and successful aging.

Of the respondents, 68.1 percent self-reported memory complaints, but only 21.1 percent had discussed them with their healthcare providers. This failure to communicate occurred despite recent visits to their primary care p
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SOURCE Alzheimer's Foundation of America
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