The Obama administration declared Alzheimer's disease "one of the most-feared health conditions" as it issued a draft of the nation's first strategy to fight the devastating disease that is on the rise as the population ages.
The top goal: find some effective treatments by 2025, an ambitious quest. The plan also aims to help overwhelmed families care for affected loved ones in the meantime, and to improve earlier diagnosis so that patients can have a say in choosing their care.
The plan says that too often, stigma and misinformation about Alzheimer's and related dementias delay diagnosis and contribute to the isolation that worsens caregivers' burden. So among the promised first steps is a major campaign to educate the public and their primary care doctors better about Alzheimer's.
(AP, February 2012)