Experts detail changing view of Alzheimer’s - Your West Valley News: Topstory

Experts detail changing view of Alzheimer’s

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 4:15 pm

The onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia can rob many elderly people of joy and comfort in their twilight years.

Experts such as Dr. Marwan Sabbagh, chief medical and scientific officer at Banner Sun Health Research Institute, say medicinal trials and therapies have come a long way in the past several decades. But he acknowledged there have been discouraging setbacks in recent years in determining how the onset of the debilitating disease develops and what treatments are best suited in dealing with it throughout a patient’s lifetime.

Sabbagh and other experts now conclude Alzheimer’s is evolving from a terminal disease to a chronic condition.

While still incurable, the new status allows patients to live their everyday lives in a little more comfort and enjoy a life previously not experienced by others.

“Curing Alzheimer’s disease is many years away,” Sabbagh said. “Dementia is the end of the disease, not the beginning. By the time we become forgetful, changes have been occurring in the brain for 20 to 30 years.”

Sabbagh and other experts spoke Friday morning at the Rio Vista Recreation Center in Peoria during an annual meeting of the Arizona Alzheimer’s Consortium, a statewide collaboration in Alzheimer’s disease research.

Established in 1998, the seven-member institution promotes scientific understanding and early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and searches for effective disease-stopping and prevention therapies.

It also seeks to educate Arizona residents about Alzheimer’s research and the resources needed to help patients, families and professionals manage the disease.

The consortium, which includes Arizona State University, Barrow Neurological Institute, Mayo Clinic Arizona, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, Translational Genomics Research Institute, University of Arizona and Banner Alzheimer’s Institute, is determined to find effective treatments to halt the progression and onset of Alzheimer’s disease in the coming years.

Sabbagh said that includes the constant medicinal trials aimed at finding suitable treatments — even a possible cure — to help patients lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

Nationwide, Sabbagh said there are more than 250 drugs in clinical development and another 75 undergoing clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease.

Doctors and health advocates say the disease takes an intolerable toll on those suffering from a mental, emotional and financial standpoint.

It also impacts caregivers, including family, close friends or professionals, who can also experience extreme fatigue, financial distress and bouts of social isolation, anxiety and depression.

That’s because caregivers, who are often juggling the competing demands of work and care, must begin to navigate health care systems that lack coordination; deal with constant information overload and choices; and manage difficult medication schedules and sophisticated technology in the home.

An estimated 44 million Americans — about 1 in 5 adults — provide unpaid care to another adult, said David W. Coon, an elder care expert and associate dean for scholarship and research collaboration at Arizona State University. In 2009, Coon said nearly 11 million Americans provided 12.5 billion hours of unpaid care to family and friends experiencing Alzheimer’s disease. The value on the pro bono service equated to almost $144 billion.

The American public is no doubt seeing that effect in their pocketbooks, particularly because local government services cannot always shoulder the costs.

Steven Killian, assistant policy adviser for the governor’s office, said Gov. Jan Brewer recognizes the adverse effect Alzheimer’s disease has on patients and their families.

Through a collaboration of many groups, the governor has created an agency that addresses the needs of Arizona’s most vulnerable citizens in a number of areas. Arizona SERVES — an acronym for service, engagement, responsiveness, volunteerism, encouragement and support — helps families and the elderly seeking independence to connect to resources offered through faith-based and nonprofit organizations.

“The steps we take now are vital to fixing this disease and the problems it creates,” Killian said.

Visit www.arizonaserves.gov for more information.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or zcolick@yourwestvalley.com.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

PBA50 7th Annual Lona King Saguaro West Open

Tell Us What You Think!

Loading…

City Of Mesa Abusing Trademark Law To Punish City Council Candidate They Don't Like

Another day, another story of abusing trademark law to try to silence speech. Paul Levy has the story of how the city of Mesa, Arizona, has se…

Published: May 27, 2016 - 2:45 am @ https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20160524/1814103…

The Race to Find Fish Feeds That Don’t Bankrupt the Ocean

Wild fisheries are stable at best and declining at worst. That means we need aquaculture to meet the world’s growing demand for protein. And t…

Published: May 27, 2016 - 2:38 am @ http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/05/24/th…

Muslim musical guest cancels “Jimmy Kimmel Live” appearance to boycott Donald Trump

Topics: ABC, Belly, boycott, Donald Trump, Islamophobia, jimmy kimmel live, Late Night, The Weeknd, Video, Video News, Elections News, Media N…

Published: May 27, 2016 - 1:37 am @ http://www.salon.com/2016/05/26/muslim_musical_gue…

Arizona sheriff wants you to take a gun hiking over Memorial Day weekend so you can shoot Mexicans

Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu is warning people to arm themselves if they go hiking over Memorial Day weekend because he thinks dru…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 11:44 pm @ http://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/arizona-sheriff-wa…

Phoenix-area law enforcement launching DUI task force for Memorial Day

PHOENIX — As you make your way through Memorial Day weekend, you’ll likely be tempted to tip back a few cold brews or know a few people who wi…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 11:23 pm @ http://ktar.com/story/1091033/phoenix-area-law-enf…

Hillary Clinton Could Drag Down Democrat Ticket

(Breitbart) – Donald Trump is picking up critical support in his race for the White House. Since clinching the Republican nomination, the pres…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 11:05 pm @ http://www.teaparty.org/hillary-clinton-drag-democ…

Arizona Lawmaker Likens Oregon Standoff to Occupy Wall Street, Demands New Probe of Militiaman's Death

Miriam Wasser A A Seven Arizona lawmakers are asking the attorneys general of Arizona and Nevada to file a civil-rights complaint with the U.S…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 9:36 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/arizona-lawmak…

After high-speed chase, Somali Muslim tries to run over border agents in southern Arizona

Why is a Somali citizen trying to cross into the U.S. from Mexico in the first place? “In April, investigators say Ahmed Elni Abdalla drove up…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 9:34 pm @ https://www.jihadwatch.org/2016/05/after-high-spee…

How to pay respects to all fallen officers in Phoenix

PHOENIX - It's a room filled with the faces of fallen Phoenix Police officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice. "We put our lives on the line a…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 9:22 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/cen…

The story of Paraswimmer and U.S. Army Sergeant Elizabeth Marks

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks ponders a question from the barista: What kind of coffee would she like? Mild, mediu…

Published: May 26, 2016 - 9:06 pm @ http://espn.go.com/espnw/culture/feature/article/1…

Facebook

YourWestValley.com on Facebook

Twitter

YourWestValley.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to YourWestValley.com via RSS

RSS Feeds