National Alzheimer's disease experts forecast future impact of the disease

September 09, 2004

What: Leading Alzheimer's disease experts will forecast the future incidence and cost of Alzheimer's and the impact of new medications, better diagnostic tools and simple lifestyle changes --such as improving diet and exercise. Sponsored by the UCLA Center on Aging, this is the first Annual Aging Forecast, a new program series designed to project future health trends.

Embargoed projections include: Alzheimer's affecting over 500,000 in California and over 130,000 in LA County by the year 2030. Costs to treat an Alzheimer's patient will rise from $76,000 in 2004 to $98,500 in 2030. Simple lifestyle changes such as eating fish once a week, adding anti-oxidant vitamins or staying involved in challenging activities each day, may lower incidence by 1 million cases over 5 years and 2.5 million cases within 20 years in the U.S.

Who: Dr. John C. Morris will discuss the increased prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and the latest medical treatments and research, including development of vaccines and new drugs. Morris is the Friedman Distinguished Professor of Neurology and director of the Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and Memory and Aging Project at Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Paul Shekelle will use a model developed at RAND to offer predictions on future costs, incidence and impact of Alzheimer's disease. Shekelle is a UCLA professor of medicine, RAND consultant, and co-director of the Assessing Care of the Vulnerable Elderly Project.

Dr. Dan Silverman will discuss the impact of using positron emission tomography (PET) in the early diagnosis of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease - often before onset of dementia. Silverman will discuss the benefits and costs and offer projections of how emerging medical therapies will impact PET's role. Silverman heads the UCLA neuronuclear imaging section and is associate chief, Division of Biological Imaging.

Dr. Gary Small will present the latest research on improving memory, including the impact of simple lifestyle changes over just a two-week period. He will also present new projections showing the rise in prevalence and cost of Alzheimer's locally and nationally, as well as the significant impact of lifestyle interventions. Small is director of the UCLA Center on Aging and a UCLA professor at the Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Luncheon speaker Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D., will present forecasts of social security and economic issues affecting an aging population. He is director of the UCLA Center for Policy Research on Aging.

When: Thurs., Sept. 9, 9:00 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: UCLA Faculty Center: Enter the UCLA Campus on Westholme Ave., just off of Hilgard. The parking kiosk will have parking information.

Contact: Rachel Champeau, UCLA Health Sciences Media Relations, 310-794-0777
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University of California - Los Angeles

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