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American Health Assistance Foundation Applauds Research and Public Awareness Goals

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American Health Assistance' Alzheimer's Disease Research Program Welcomes Release of First National Alzheimer's Plan

CLARKSBURG, MD-The American Health Assistance Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting research and public information through its Alzheimer's Disease Research program, commends the Obama Administration's development of the first National Alzheimer's Plan, released today.

The Plan, mandated by the National Alzheimer's Project Act (NAPA) that was signed into law by the President in 2011, sets forth major goals including effective prevention and treatments, tools for clinicians, and a public awareness campaign.

AHAF welcomes the multiple components of the plan, including one of its primary research goals-a collaborative approach across the federal, state, private, and non-profit sectors to help prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease. The Administration has set a target date of 2025 to reach this objective.

Commented AHAF President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller:

“This is an important and historic moment in the fight to end Alzheimer's disease. We commend the Obama Administration for developing the country's first-ever National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease.

At the same time, we recognize that this is only the beginning of what must be a massive national effort to end this devastating disease. To truly conquer Alzheimer's disease and related dementias requires coordinated work among non-profits, industry, and the government, and increased research funding. Without this concerted national effort, the disease will devastate more and more of our families, and threatens to cripple Medicare.

Since 1985, AHAF's Alzheimer's Disease Research program has provided $74 million in grants for cutting-edge research. Many of AHAF's past grantees are now acclaimed experts in their field. Yet we know that too many promising scientists who want to devote their career to ending Alzheimer's cannot get private or public funding. We must unite all our efforts to support those scientists who can help find a cure for this disease. The Administration has taken an important first step in articulating and supporting such a commitment. Now we have to roll up our sleeves and get the job done.

For their work in steering the development of this plan, we thank Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins, and Dr. Ronald Peterson, Chair of the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Research, Care, and Services.

We also hope the National Plan moves us even closer to a global effort to defeat Alzheimer's disease.”

The Administration announced initiatives to help achieve Plan goals. In research, NIH will help fund two major clinical trials: one to test an insulin nasal spray for treating the disease, and a second study that is the first prevention trial among people at high risk for Alzheimer's disease.

AHAF officials are participating in this week's National Summit on Alzheimer's Research, addressing potential research priorities under the plan.

About the American Health Assistance Foundation 

The American Health Assistance Foundation (www.ahaf.org) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for age-related degenerative diseases by funding research worldwide under its three program areas: Alzheimer's Disease Research, Macular Degeneration Research, and National Glaucoma Research. AHAF also provides public information about these diseases.

Stay connected to ground-breaking research news by signing up for AHAF eAlerts at www.ahaf.org/news.To follow the American Health Assistance Foundation on Twitter and Facebook, visit www.ahaf.org/connect.