World Alzheimer's Day is September 21

  • Press Release
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American Health Assistance Foundation Urges Early Diagnosis and Continued Research

CLARKSBURG, MD.-To date, the American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF) has awarded 391 research grants totaling $65,947,734 to search for treatments and a cure for Alzheimer's disease. Projections estimate that 106 million people worldwide and their families will be suffering the devastation of this life-robbing disease by the year 2050.

With currently no effective long-term treatments and no cure, patients and their families bear the burden of dealing with and living with this disease, sometimes for a decade or longer. The time from diagnosis to death in an Alzheimer's patient varies. Some people live for as little as three or four years if they are older than 80 years when diagnosed, while others live 10 years or longer if they are younger when they receive their diagnosis. An early, definitive diagnosis allows patient and their loved ones to make plans for how to handle the disease in later years. It is important to the patient in particular to have input into how they are cared for in the later stages of the disease.

The age group of 85 years or older is one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population and nearly half of all people age 85 years or older have some form of dementia. “With baby boomers reaching retirement age we are looking at a potential dementia epidemic in the United States, therefore, it is essential that research continues until adequate treatments and ultimately a cure is found for Alzheimer's disease,” said Kathleen Honaker, Executive Director of the American Health Assistance Foundation.

“The American Health Assistance Foundation mission is one of Alzheimer's disease education and research,” said Mrs. Honaker. “There is so much exciting work going on in the research community by dedicated scientists all over the world. AHAF has awarded grants to researchers in 16 countries including the United States, Europe, Australia, South America and China,” said Mrs. Honaker.

“AHAF excels at identifying exceptionally innovative and groundbreaking research. Our donor-supported researchers are conducting high risk/high reward studies on a variety of topics, including the roles sleep deprivation, aerobic exercise and nutritional supplements have on Alzheimer's disease, said Guy Eakin, Ph.D., Director of Research Grants, AHAF.

The American Health Assistance Foundation will be accepting grant applications for 2010 awards through October 19, 2009 from researchers world-wide. Information on the application process is available on the website.

“Only through research will a cure be found, that is our tagline," said Mrs. Honaker, "and these words will ring true until Alzheimer's disease is conquered.”

For more information about Alzheimer's disease including pamphlets and brochures call 1-800-437-2423 or visit the website.

The American Health Assistance Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding cures for age-related and degenerative diseases by funding research worldwide on Alzheimer's disease, glaucoma and macular degeneration. AHAF also provides the public with free information about these diseases, including risk factors, preventative lifestyles, available treatments and coping strategies.