Experts Urge Family Members and Friends to Seek Immediate Intervention for Their Loved Ones Who May Have Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
New Online Resource, YouCanBeTheOne.com, Recommended to Help Guide Important Conversations and Get Families Closer to an Accurate Diagnosis
Currently only 60 percent of AD patients are diagnosed, and of those, only half receive treatment to slow the progression of symptoms. The ADSDG has identified the top five barriers that delay family and friends from addressing AD symptoms until the disease is in its later stages:
- Fear of scaring or offending the patient
- Inaccurate notion that effective medical treatments do not exist
- Unwillingness or inability to assume caregiver role and responsibilities
- Disagreement among family members and/or friends about confronting the patient
- Cultural differences and language barriers that may delay minority groups from seeking prompt diagnosis and treatment
Given these barriers and the escalating number of people with AD – an additional half million people may be diagnosed in the next year, raising the total to nearly six million AD patients in the U.S. – Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc worked with the ADSDG on the development of a new educational Web site, YouCanBeTheOne.com. The new Web site provides tips for discussing AD with family, the potential patient, and a physician, and outlines information to help families understand how the disease may impact them as it progresses. A few of the tools offered on the site include a symptom screener and tracker, and a “clock draw” test.* These tools may provide clarity for family members who have observed potential AD symptoms in a loved one and help them share what they have been seeing with a doctor.
“It’s an overwhelming experience to recognize the presence of AD in your loved one, but it’s even more challenging when the responsibility falls upon you to speak up and take action,” said Dr.
Having these important discussions with doctors and family members may also help adults more confidently ease into a new role as caregiver. When AD is diagnosed early, caregivers have more time to plan for the future, including getting financial and legal documents in order, investigating long-term care options, and determining what services are covered by health insurance and Medicare.
About the Alzheimer’s Disease Screening Discussion Group (ADSDG)
The ADSDG is a multi-disciplinary panel of experts sponsored by Eisai Inc. and Pfizer Inc that first convened in
Paul R. Solomon, professor, department of psychology and program in neuroscience, Williams College, MA; clinical director, The Memory Clinic, Bennington, VT
Richard Stefanacci, founding executive director, Institute for Geriatric Studies, Mayes Collegeof Healthcare Business & Policy, University of the Sciences
Barry W. Rovner, director, clinical Alzheimer’s disease research at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences, and professor of psychiatry and neurology, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia
Yanira Cruz, president and CEO, National Hispanic Council on Aging
Gail Hunt, president and CEO, National Alliance for Caregiving
Janet Farr, Alzheimer’s disease Caregiver
About Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, affecting more than five million Americans. Symptoms of AD may include increased forgetfulness, repeating or asking the same question frequently, and problems making decisions. These symptoms gradually affect a person’s cognition, behavior and everyday activities, some severe enough to have an impact on their work, social activities and family life. While there is no cure for AD, there are treatments to help slow the progression of the symptoms of the disease. The disease disproportionately affects Hispanics and African Americans as they are at higher risk than Caucasians for developing the disease, and often go undiagnosed and untreated for longer periods of time.
About Eisai Inc.
Eisai Inc. is a U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world. Eisai focuses its efforts in three therapeutic areas: neurology, gastrointestinal disorders and oncology/critical care. Established in 1995 and ranked among the top-20 U.S. pharmaceutical companies (based on retail sales), Eisai Inc. began marketing its first product in
Eisai Inc. employs approximately 1,900 people at its headquarters in
About Pfizer Inc
Founded in 1849, Pfizer is the world’s premier biopharmaceutical company taking new approaches to better health. We discover, develop, manufacture and deliver quality, safe and effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease for both people and animals. We also partner with healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the world to expand access to our medicines and to provide better quality health care and health system support. At Pfizer, more than 80,000 colleagues in more than 90 countries work every day to help people stay happier and healthier longer and to reduce the human and economic burden of disease worldwide.
*These are not self-diagnostic tools, but can be used to help identify whether a memory problem might exist, and may be useful in discussions with friends, family and doctors. Only a doctor can diagnose AD or any type of dementia.
SOURCE Eisai Inc.; Pfizer Inc