New national strategy for battling Alzheimer's Disease unveiled
POSTED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 4:15pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - 4:19pm
Baton Rouge, La (NBC33) — The Obama administration has unveiled its national Alzheimer's plan, giving the nation a deadline to come up with effective treatments and prevention strategies.
Country music legend Glen Campbell his family were in Washington Tuesday to lend their support for the new national Alzheimer's plan unveiled at the National Institutes of Health.
Campbell was diagnosed with the disease last year and recently went public with his struggle.
"Perfect strangers have been coming up to come up to me and just bursting into tears because their family has been affected by this," said Ashley Campbell, his daughter.
"This is a road map that will help us meet our goal to prevent and effectively treat Alzheimer's disease by 2025," Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said of the new plan.
During that time, the NIH will fund two major studies of possible therapies, including a nasal spray that delivers insulin directly to the brain.
That treatment is based on evidence that Alzheimer's and Diabetes may be related.
Another major study will target a large family in South America in which at least 28 members have a genetic mutation and developed Alzheimer's Disease in their 40s.
Researchers there will study the effect of an experimental treatment "Crenezumab."
"An antibody which is designed to bind to and possibly clear away amyloid protein," explains NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
Amyloid protein is a plaque which can lurk in the brain years before before Alzheimer's symptoms emerge.
The future seems bleak for the more than 5-million Americans with Alzheimer's Disease and their caregivers, but experts say the new national plan is comprehensive and gives much-needed hope.
"It means that we're focused, it means that there's a direction, that there are goals and objectives that we want to meet," says Eric J. Hall of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America.
The number of Alzheimer's cases is expected to more than double by the year 2050.
Part of the national strategy includes a new website, www.alzheimers.gov. There, you can find much more information about dementia, along with community resources.