NATIONAL PLAN TO ADDRESS ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE: 2017 UPDATE. Strategy 4.A: Educate the Public about Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

09/01/2017

Memory Sunday: Increasing Awareness of Alzheimer's Disease in Church Congregations. CDC supported the Balm in Gilead to develop and implement Memory Sunday, the Second Sunday in June, as a designated Sunday, within congregations serving African Americans, that provides education on AD: prevention, treatment, research studies and caregiving. The purpose of Memory Sunday is to bring national and local attention to the tremendous burden that AD/ADRD are having on the African American community; to utilize the power and influence of the African American pulpit to bring awareness; to distribute the facts about AD; to encourage participation in research studies; and to support persons living with AD and their caregivers.

For more information, see:

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Alzheimer's Disease Resource Information. CDC developed in 2017 Alzheimer's and Healthy Aging Program Updates, which is a monthly email sent to more than 63,000 subscribers. Material contained in the emails are primary Federal Government resources for information about AD/ADRD, research, and caregiving.

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Cognitive Health Awareness. ACL rolled out a campaign to change the way consumers aged 60-70 think about their brains and brain health. The campaign encourages older adults to talk about their brain health and take steps to reduce associated risks. Those experiencing MCI are encouraged to seek medical attention. The What is Brain Health? Campaign's website is currently available and its launch focused on St. Louis and Las Vegas in 2015. Focus areas in 2016 were San Francisco and Chicago. Both years' efforts have national elements. Development of a What is Brain Health?Campaign for Hispanic audiences is underway in 2017.

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Alzheimer's Disease Information. NIA operates ADEAR Center, the primary Federal Government resource for information about AD/ADRD, research, and caregiving. The ADEAR Center educates the public about the latest research findings and provides evidence-based information online, in print and via a call center. Information about AD/ADRD, participation in clinical trials, and caregiving is freely available. NIA promotes ADEAR's resources through outreach in the research and care communities and through the media & advocacy organizations, via weekly e-alerts to more than 50,000 subscribers, and social media outreach to more than 10,000 followers. Beginning in late 2017, NIA will also manage Alzheimers.gov to continue to expand public outreach about AD/ADRD.

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Public Outreach on Brain Health. The Brain Health Resource, a presentation toolkit on brain health as we age, was developed by ACL with NIH and CDC, for use at senior centers and in other community settings. Written in plain language, the evidence-based resource explains what people can do to help keep their brains functioning best. In 2016, the toolkit was expanded to include materials in Spanish and a new brain health module entitled, Medicine, Age, and Your Brain.

NIH unveiled the Mind Your Risks public health campaign to educate people with high blood pressure about the importance of controlling blood pressure in midlife (ages 45-65) to help reduce the risk of having a stroke and possibly developing dementia later in life. The website includes research highlights, such as the Northern Manhattan Study, a NIH-funded investigation of the predictors of stroke, cognitive impairment, and dementia in a tri-ethnic community that may inform future intervention programs for prevention of stroke and cognitive decline in diverse populations.

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Public Health Research Network. CDC created the new HBRN in 2014, a thematic network in CDC's PRCs. The Network's activities build on the mission of CDC's HBI to better understand attitudes and perceived changes in cognitive functioning over time through public health surveillance, build a strong evidence base for communication (e.g., messaging) and programmatic interventions to improve or maintain cognitive function, and help to translate that evidence base into effective public health programs and practices in states and communities. The PRCs include the University of Washington Health Promotion Research Center (Coordinating Center), Oregon Health and Science University Center for Healthy Communities; University of Arizona Prevention Center; University of Illinois at Chicago PRC; University of Pennsylvania PRC; and University of South Carolina PRC.

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Message Development and Testing. CDC funded the development and dissemination of science-based, culturally-relevant messages and strategies that promote awareness about cognition and cognitive impairment, including AD/ADRD. The University of Pennsylvania PRC will assess perceptions about cognitive health and impairment among non-Hispanic White and African American adults aged 50 or older living in the Philadelphia area. This work is now being tested across the country with different populations at HBRN sites.

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Dementia Chart Book. ASPE is completing a chart book, Older Adults with Dementia and Their Caregivers in 2015: Key Indicators from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, which includes important information on the population of community-dwelling people with dementia in the United States and their caregivers. Dementia was more prevalent among people who were over age 80, had lower educational attainment, and were not non-Hispanic White. Older adults with dementia were more likely than those without dementia to have multiple chronic conditions, have functional limitations, experience depressive symptoms, or to need assistance. Older adults with dementia received significantly more hours of care per month than those without dementia. They had more informal caregivers and received more hours of care from those caregivers. More information and data are available in the chart book, which will be released in fall 2017.

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AFTD Educational Webinar Series. AFTD's Educational Webinar Series invites expert medical researchers, clinicians and other professionals to address issues important to all whose lives are impacted by FTD. These webinars represent both the clinical and care sides of FTD. Space is limited for people to participate live, but the recorded webinar is available to all on AFTD's website.

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Lewy Body Dementia: State of the Science. LBDA published a new report in 2016 called Lewy Body Dementia: State of the Science. Written for the general public and specifically the LBD community, this white paper highlights the progress made in LBD and promising areas for further study. A two page "brief" was also published.

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USAgainstAlzheimer's 2016 Summit. The 2016 Summit expanded to include a pilot Alzheimer's and Dementia Disparities Summit, co-hosted by the African American and Latino Networks and Leaders Engaged on Alzheimer's Disease, co-convened by UsAgainstAlzheimer's. More than 70 diverse academic, research, industry and federal stakeholders explored ways to eliminate disparities in AD/ADRD. The convening formulated the first-ever community driven action plan to increase awareness, understanding and action on AD among communities of color.

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We Won't Wait Campaign. WomenAgainstAlzheimer's network launched a campaign, We Won't Wait, with 25 organizational partners. It is the first-ever widespread effort to define AD as the 21st century's primary economic justice and health crisis for women, through collaborations with private sector companies that reach women; advocacy organizations in health, women's rights and business; and a women's leadership circle to disrupt the conversations about this disease. The campaign has five pillars: (1) multiply public funding for AD research; (2) demand sex-based research into AD; (3) alleviate the economic injustice of AD; (4) improve families' access to diagnosis, treatment and clinical trials; and (5) promote risk reduction strategies and ideas for living well with AD.

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