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Senate committee compares international approaches to Alzheimer’s and dementia

January 29, 2013
by Sandra Hoban, Managing Editor
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A report released by the Senate Special Committee on Aging offered recommendation to address the growing problem of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), based on a comparative study of five countries (Australia, France, Japan and the United Kingdom). The committee’s international approach concluded that the best strategies and solutions derived from the study were to seek early and accurate diagnosis, continue to develop genetic treatments, remove the stigma of Alzheimer’s and to develop and train a skilled workforce to work effectively across the care continuum.  

Similar to the economic and structural background of the U.S., these nations are also experiencing growing populations of older adults with AD or other dementias. The committee looked at each country’s population demographics, life expectancy, prevalence of the disease and how long-term care was provided to those afflicted with AD and other dementias to reach its recommendations.

AD is a costly disease for the individual and the government. The cost of Alzheimer’s is staggering. In 2012, Alzheimer’s has cost Medicare and Medicaid billions of dollars ($104.5 billion and $33.5 billion, respectively). The next 40 years, these costs are predicted to increase by 500 percent.

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