Case Western Reserve University hosts 100th Anniversary of Alzheimer's Disease Conference

CLEVELAND -- The year 2006 marks the 100th anniversary of the first case of Alzheimer's disease to the medical world. Currently there are 4.5 million Americans (18 million worldwide) with the disease, and these figures are estimated to double by the year 2025. The cost to societies is overwhelming. Dementia is currently one of the most costly and devastating diseases, both to persons with dementia as well as to their families.

"As we mark the 100th anniversary of Alzheimer's, it is time to think broadly and reflect deeply on the meaning of Alzheimer's for individuals and society. In my view the power of community to re-imagine the processes of brain aging combined with an appreciation of the limits of science and medicine will allow us to address our aging-associated cognitive challenges, said Peter J. Whitehouse, M.D., Ph.D., professor of neurology at the University Center for Memory and Aging.

"By the year 2020, a staggering number approximately 17% of the U.S. population will be considered elderly. In addition, almost 40% of a professional caregiver's time will be spent treating the elderly by that year," said May L. Wykle, dean and Florence Cellar Professor of Gerontological Nursing at Case's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and director of the University Center on Aging and Health. "We reflect deeply upon the broad global concerns raised by our current treatment approaches. We work as communities of scholars, care providers, family members and human beings to enhance the quality of lives of all touched by the loss of memory as we age. That's why the discussions and presentations at this conference are so important."

Speakers at the "Reflecting on 100 Years of Alzheimer's: The Global Impact on Quality of Lives" conference, held November 6-7 in downtown Cleveland, represent the best that the world has to offer in understanding the global challenges created by Alzheimer's disease and related conditions in the areas of psychiatry, neuro

Contact: Susan Griffith
Case Western Reserve University

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